NSW drought: GIVIT leads donation drive across Cabonne Shire

LENDING A HAND: GIVIT NSW manager Scott Barrett with Cudal Children's Centre's Hayden Watts and Robyn Wheatley. Photo: SUPPLIED
LENDING A HAND: GIVIT NSW manager Scott Barrett with Cudal Children's Centre's Hayden Watts and Robyn Wheatley. Photo: SUPPLIED

"Help them pick up their feet today so they don't trip tomorrow."

That was the philosophy behind a $25,000 delivery of donations to the Cabonne local government area by the Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak and online charity GIVIT on Wednesday.

Members from both organisations visited drought-affected communities in Cudal, Manildra, Eugowra, Cumnock and Molong, plus Euchareena and Mullion Creek.

They spent the day buying vouchers from businesses within the towns and delivering them to community organisations, including the CWA and progress associations, for distribution.

GIVIT NSW manager Scott Barrett said the team visited a dozen businesses across the region and with most vouchers valued at $50, up to 500 farming families and community groups and schools could benefit.

He said while the funds would go to the families who needed it most, they also helped small businesses who had also struggled.

DONATING FUNDS: The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak's Julie Fleming, Peter Perriman, Ray Fleming, Stuart Smith, Graham Denney, Graeme McLean, Sue Moffatt and Col Nayda with GIVIT's Mel Bowman, Scott Barrett and Deni Rose. Photo: SUPPLIED

DONATING FUNDS: The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak's Julie Fleming, Peter Perriman, Ray Fleming, Stuart Smith, Graham Denney, Graeme McLean, Sue Moffatt and Col Nayda with GIVIT's Mel Bowman, Scott Barrett and Deni Rose. Photo: SUPPLIED

"When you spend $2000-$3000, it's a big deal, it changes their week, their month and in some cases even their year," he said.

"One person thought it was a prank call when we asked for a couple of thousand dollars-worth of vouchers."

Mr Barrett said while the vouchers were small amounts, they made buying things like school uniforms easier.

"The vouchers mean [recipients] can walk in and spend them on the things they need," he said.

The money was raised at last year's Feast for Farmers function held at Heifer Station Wine, which raised $40,000.

It was donated to drought affected communities of Cabonne by the Rotary club through the GIVIT platform's drought relief activities.

Club president Ray Fleming said members were keen to help out and also witness the benefit of the donations firsthand.

"We need our communities - our farmers, farmer workers, our local businesses and community groups - to remain strong," he said.

"It will rain, and things will get better, but if we can make a small difference to help then get through this period then it's well worth the effort."

Mr Barrett said he looked forward to hearing feedback from the community organisations distributing the vouchers and others wishing to donate to GIVIT could have the funds distributed on their behalf.