Call with drought-stricken widow prompts action in tiny town
THREE Biggenden women have decided to "row their own boat", combine forces and raise money for farmers struggling in the present drought conditions.
Roz Buczma, Lea Treloar and Julie Just are taking on the plight of their fellow farmers in the North and South Burnett.
For Mrs Just it was a phone conversation with a recent young widow struggling to run her drought-stricken farm that prompted her to become more involved.
"I was given a phone number of a woman that needed some support as she was recently widowed and had three children under the age of 12 years who she homeschools and running the property on her own," Mrs Just said in a Facebook post.
"During that phone call I found out this beautiful woman hadn't had a decent bath or shower for near three weeks, the kids were bathing in the same water for three days at a time.
"Through this adversity I've found a life-long friend."
Calling themselves Biggenden Droughtbusters with support from Biggenden Lions Club, their first fundraiser last Friday raised more than $1100.
The group held an all-day sausage sizzle outside Foodworks followed by meat tray raffles at the hotels.
Mrs Just said after the money was counted and she was shown the piece of paper with the amount, she burst into tears.
"I couldn't believe little Biggenden could raise this amount of money," she said
"I got the most heart-warming feeling."
Mrs Just said in the North Burnett only a few individual farms were drought declared, as compared with all of the South Burnett.
"Another blow is they are now out fighting bushfires," she said.
"What grass they have is gone along with fencing."
The group is trying to source water tankers to come on board as families are running out of household and stock water.
All money raised will go to the farmers by way of vouchers for food and personal items to be spent in their town.
Mrs Just said little towns are struggling.
"These vouchers will also help them," she said.
Once fundraising is finalised and everything sorted the women with their hearts on their sleeves will head-off with their swags in the back and GPS in hand and visit families in need.
Mrs Just said they will get a hug, a care package, a chat, a cuppa and of course cake.
"Our goal is to reach those falling through the cracks of larger charities," she said.
They will be contacting CWA branches in the districts to deliver care packages to families they know of who are in need.
Mrs Just said they would also like to organise a night of musical entertainment.
"With so much depression for those on the land, getting families out and socialising lifts everyone's spirits," she said.
"We also hope to get the schools involved by having an Aussie Farmer Day."
"The donation of a gold coin may help change the future of our Australian farmers.
She said we are grateful for anything received.
"Every little bit helps," she said.
Donation baskets available at Biggenden Pharmacy, donation bin at Biggenden Foodworks and money buckets at Biggenden Hardware, Ag Traders and Coffee Pozzee.
Mrs Just said Foodworks had been "absolutely incredible" sponsoring everything for the sausage sizzle
Regular raffles with meat trays and seafood vouchers will be held every two weeks with the next on September 28.
The group have plans for a bowls day on Saturday October 27 followed by the Dallarnil Sports Club pop-up kitchen for 200 at the Memorial Hall on Saturday November 10.
Ms Buczma said there would be a set menu of main meal and desert for $20 each.
All money raised will go to the cause.
SUGGESTED ITEMS FOR DONATIONS
NOTE: New and unopened toiletries only. Food items must be in date and not less than three months before expiry.
Non-perishable items: UHT milk, UHT lactose free milk, bottled water, juices, cereal, pasta and pasta sauces, rice, tinned vegies, fruit, baked beans, spaghetti, soups.
Baking ingredients: flour, sugars, dried fruits, cake mixes
Tea and coffee, spreads, condiments and biscuits
Household family toiletry lines: Shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorants, hand cream, body wash and shower gels and hand wash, soaps/wipes, moisturisers, tissues, toilet rolls, sanitary needs, razors.
Hats/caps, socks, underwear, shoes/workboots/ thongs, brushes
Laundry liquid/powder, fabric softener
Babies and children's shoes, socks, thongs, joggers, hats, caps, nappies, baby wipes, baby shampoo and moisturiser.
For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org or checkout Biggenden Droughtbusters Facebook page