Two years after launching their appeal to support NSW communities gripped by Australia's most severe drought in living memory, online charity GIVIT has reflected on coordinating more than $650,000 in donations.
Since September 2018 GIVIT's drought appeal has spent 100 per cent of donated funds with businesses and suppliers in drought-affected areas. More than 800 items have been provided for charities across the state and the online charity has directly supported at least 12,000 regional families and individuals.
GIVIT NSW Manager, and talisman for the charity's drought relief activities, Scott Barrett said he has experienced first-hand how challenging the drought has been on regional NSW communities.
"Throughout this drought, too many people have been making the heartbreaking decision to either feed themselves or their stock, and often they're the ones going hungry," he said.
"People are going without staple and everyday items as they, sadly, just can't afford them - such as fresh food, a pair of sturdy boots or working jacket without holes, and school stationery.
"To give simple donations like grocery, fuel and clothing vouchers makes their everyday financial decisions so much easier, and means they can purchase what they need as well as keep their stock alive and livelihoods sustainable until the drought breaks."
Mr Barrett said it wasn't just farmers affected, but entire communities.
"So it's been great to buy these life-changing items locally. If we can put a bit more money into the local shops they can play a part in making sure communities survive and prosper into the future," he said.
GIVIT coordinates all offers of goods, funds, volunteering and services online, removing the burden on organisations to collect, sort, store and dispose of donations they don't need.
The online charity makes sure people get what they need when they need it most - whether recovering from a disaster event, or experiencing hardship due to circumstances such as drought, domestic and family violence, homelessness, disability and mental health.
All donated funds GIVIT receives are used to purchase items for people in need. To donate or more information about GIVIT's Drought Relief Appeal, visit GIVIT.org.au/drought-relief.