Lionel Smith - Chairperson, Outreach Committee, Avondale Senior Living.
Farmer’s Drought Relief Project is in their third year and it is a different kind of year.
Instead of crippling drought, the first three months brought some very welcome rain up in the area where we have been working. This caused great rejoicing and the promise of better times ahead, especially if there is some follow up rain during the year. Some grain crops have already been planted in the hope of generating a cash income again.
Then, only about early March we became aware of something called “Corona Virus,” and the world has become a very different place as it rapidly became a pandemic. Worldwide there have been more than 2.5 million cases recorded, with over 660,000 recoveries but tragically over 172,000 deaths. Despite some inconveniences, here in Cooranbong we have been wonderful blessed. Truely God is Good. Thank You Lord. But I know that our prayers and hearts go out to all those affected and that included multitudes from all walks of life. Not the least of which is our Prime Minister etc.
Our last visit to Narrabri and the farmers in the Wee Waa, Gwabegar, Pillage areas was at the end of February. It was then that Doreen and I and William Ackland personally delivered food hampers and $200 gift cards (Woolies/Coles) to 25 farmer families. The return trip took 5 days and covered 1,300 kilometres. Thank you Sanitarium, thank you to all who donated so liberally, thank you to Narrabri church for packing the hampers and thank you Betty Murray (the Narrabri one!) for providing us with accomodation.
Because of Government restrictions on travel, stay home, and social distancing during the pandemic I thought our visiting days were over for the duration. The Outreach Community explored the idea of posting out Gift Cards by registered post. However names and addresses were a problem. After talking with Martin Ward, I talked with Morisset Police. They assured me there would be no problems if I were delivering necessities to needy people, specifically in doing it farm to farm. I would not need written permission but would be like any other truck driver. The only stipulation was “adherence to social distancing.”
I immediately made contact with Sanitarium Health and Wellness and am expecting a delivery of a pallet of supply on Tuesday 28th April. Doreen and I are planning to do deliveries during the first week of May, all being well.
Please keep the Farmer Families in thoughts and prayers. Although there has been some good rain, it will take many months, even years to generate income again. We look forward to that time. Until such time we would like to continue to give what help we can.
If perchance you would like to help please contact me at K 11 or on (02) 4977 4087 or the ARV Office Receptionist and donate to “Farmer’s Drought Relief”. If writing a cheque make it payable to - “ARV - Farmer’ Drought Relief”. In anticipation and on behalf of the farmers, Thank You - a thousand times over - they really do appreciate all you do. To know that someone is thinking of them in a tangible way gives hope and a real boost.
We are not a registered charity and therefore are NOT in a position to issue Tax Deductible Receipts.