Last quarter Invest Blue supported Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale fundraiser to help raise much-needed funds for farmers in need. Farmers across Australia have been faced with some of the driest conditions recorded in the last century, causing water supplies and pastures to completely dry up.
Buy a Bale supports Australian farmers facing hardship due to drought, the fundraiser allows the public to buy a hay bale or tanks of water for the farmers who need it the most. $100 can buy 1 large hay bale and $450 is enough to deliver a whole water tank. Established in 2013 Buy a Bale currently supports farmers Australia wide including some of our local regions.
Invest Blue has offices in 17 locations across QLD, NSW and VIC most of those in regional areas where we see the direct impact drought causes to not only the farmers but also the community which made this fundraiser close to our hearts.
Throughout the quarter we were able to raise $1800 directly from our people, for the Buy a Bale fundraiser.
“Growing up in the bush and my family living off the farming industry, I have seen firsthand how devastating the drought can be. I have also seen how wonderfully heartwarming and helpful it is to see fellow Aussies supporting each other with truckloads of hay. It was great we were able to help support them this quarter” – Lycinda Steen, Relationship Manager at Invest Blue.
Drought has not only a direct impact on the immediate wellbeing of livestock, farmers and their families but it also impacts those affected emotionally, financially and mentally. Below we share some stories shared to us directly from Rural Aid, highlighting not only the impact of the drought but also the difference one person can make during this time.
A letter from Matilda
Throughout Australia, isolation, loneliness, depression, suicide and mental health rates are all climbing. These rates are even higher in regional and rural areas, due to remoteness and the stresses on farmers as a result of devastating experiences. Too often, farmers end their lives because they simply do not have the hope to continue on.
In many schools across Australia, children write letters to farmers that show their support, appreciation, and just let the farmers know that they are not alone. One student, Matilda, wrote a letter to a farmer that was getting ready to end his life. But Matilda’s letter gave the farmer hope, and for the first time in a long time, he found the strength to carry on. That spring one of his cows gave birth, and he named the calf Matilda after the little girl that saved his life.
Farmer Stories- A shower for a farmer’s wife
In such an extended drought, livestock is not the only ones facing a lack of water. Many dams and reservoirs in rural Australia are drying up, which means countless farming families are struggling to access water. Through Rural Aid, just $450 can give a family an entire tank of fresh drinking water- 11,500 litres. This donation provides families with some of the basic luxuries that we take for granted every day-like a shower.
Sharon, our hay coordinator, recently spoke with a farmer who hadn’t had a shower in weeks, because she was saving the water so that her kids could take showers before school. She felt that their comfort far outweighed her own. When we delivered water to her and her family, she was finally able to take a well-earned, relaxing shower after months of stress and sacrifice.
Rural Aid’s Country Cards
Rural Aid’s country card program sends prepaid visa cards to farmers so that they can spend that money locally within their own community to buy things that they need.
One day Susan, a young mum, called Wayne, Buy a Bales National Business Development Manager, to ask him about the country card that she had just received.
“Before I use this card, can I just clarify if I can choose what I want to buy with this card myself?”
Wayne replied, “Of course you can. It’s your card, you can choose what you want.”
Susan instantly burst into tears. She hadn’t been able to purchase groceries in 9 months. She and her family had been eating food hampers from the local church and hadn’t experienced the everyday luxury of being able in pop into their local shopping centre and buy food themselves.
The country card provided something more than just much-needed support. By being able to choose what to eat, the card also gave back her dignity. It meant that she could buy fresh fruit and vegetables for her children which they hadn’t had for nine months.
“Having only had access to free food hampers for the past nine months, this gift card enabled me to choose to buy some fresh fruit and veggies for the very first time, and also gave me some of my dignity back, to be able to make that choice myself,” Susan said.
In turn, her trip to the grocery store also supported her community’s local economy, creating a ripple effect of support.
These stories shared from Rural Aid highlight the true hardship our farmers go through and the positive impact Buy a Bale fundraiser can make when they need it the most. If you’re in a position to do so we encourage you to make a donation through the link below and help us reach our goal of raising enough funds to buy an entire truckload of hay for a farmer’s precious livestock.
If you would like to discuss your financial situation, we are happy to assist. Contact us today.
What you need to know
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