Farmers are truly thankful to you all, for the drought assistance being provided by donations from members in the community, in city and country. It has been brought to my attention, that some people have not noticed farmers acknowledgement of thanks upon receiving financial assistance and care packages during this drought. This really saddened me, as this has not been my experience at all. So I thought I should state a couple of facts and share some understanding.
Through the generous donations of individuals and businesses, charities have been able to distribute financial assistance in the current drought. Farmers are receiving hay donations, bags of dog food for farm working dogs, financial assistance for household bills, care packs, bags of grocery items and mental health support. The drought assistance is still available to those farmers in need.
The process starts with a person in the city or country donating a little cash or some grocery items. The charities are then responsible for distributing the donations through financial assistance, bales of hay, grocery packs, fuel vouchers or food vouchers. Each charity differs on how and what assistance is provided to primary producers. The farmer is in direct contact with the charity of their choice.
Some producers are too proud to even ask for assistance so will battle on independently. The farmers that do anxiously ask for support are usually so embarrassed or feel immeasurable shame. They don’t have money to feed their stock or even their families. They are ashamed that they cannot feed their working dog any longer. Some farmers are feeling a sense of failure in their industry, despite weather being out of their control.
They are mortified to even be in this position to accept help. Charities, volunteers and mental health professionals are left with the task to convince farmers of their worth and change their mindset. It is not a failure to accept help when needed.
Thank you letters and personal thankfulness is shown every single day to the charities distributing the donations. The charities then through newspapers, television and social media share some stories and the gratefulness that is received. But due to privacy, they are unable to be too specific.
You may not see the thanks in public very often, but the person distributing the assistance generally gets a front row seat to see the farmer in tears and receives the thanks personally. This cannot be shared with the community. But rest assured, farmers have been ever so grateful for this support from the community.
With charities being so busy, maybe there has not been enough of the gratitude shared. Maybe when things get back on track for everyone, time will be available for reflecting on this. In the meantime, believe me, farmers are thankful and are showing their sincere appreciation. Some producers have sent letters to the Editor of many newspapers, thanking the community members and charities for their support.
I am a farmer and have received drought support. Like all farmers in my position affected by drought, I don’t like to tell everyone. I do feel embarrassed. But I have written a letter of thanks to the charity, to show my gratefulness and appreciation of the support I received, also noting the meaningful donations from community members. My letter has been used in their social media and on their webpage, after asking me would I allow it. My name was not included and I was happy for my personal story to assist them in return.
I would like to provide some links below to show that farmers are appreciative of the help they receive in the current drought. It is with the support of community, that farmers continue to do what needs to be done… to feed and clothe our nation.
Thankfully farmers have that support, financially but more importantly mentally. Do not under-estimate the real value of your support. To know that people care about the agricultural industry and to secure the future… is the biggest support we need.
I do not specifically endorse any single charity, but fully support all drought assistance and their intentions. I have provided the links below for real Testimonials of thanks and more drought assistance information:
- Drought Angels – “We are the little charity with big hearts, making a difference to every farming family we assist”.
- Need For Feed Disaster Relief – a Project of the Lions Club.
- Aussie Helpers – “For farming families in hardship”.
- Rural Aid / Buy a Bale – 1 program of Rural Aid.
- Country Women’s Association of NSW – Provides assistance through the “Disaster Relief Fund” and improves the lives of women and their families.
- Doing It For Our Farmers – volunteers in Tamworth NSW, helping with grocery items. See the video on NBN news.
- The Salvation Army – respected charity helping those in need.
Each and every one of these above charities have received many letters of thanks from farmers. Some may have published them, some may have not, due to privacy implications. Volunteers have experienced personal emotional connections of gratitude from farmers and stories have been shared with a sense of appreciation and understanding.
Although it may not be seen in the public eye, farmers are very thankful for the financial and emotional support being provided during this difficult time coping with drought. It is truly Australian “to have each other’s back” and unite city and country at this time. So thank you Australia.
Take care, Karen.
“A small group of determined and like-minded people
can change the course of history”