Macarthur 4WD Club - Drought Run to Dubbo
Farming families and others struggling from the ongoing drought crisis have been blessed with a little bit of kindness.
Since November last year, determined members of the Macarthur 4WD Club have been accumulating thousands of dollars in IGA shopping food vouchers, gift cards, water and misting fans to donate to the Dubbo depot of Aussie Helpers for drought relief. Some individual donations included 4WD Association of NSW/ACT, David Vincent, Noppen Air and Jim Hunter.
The donations will go towards helping farming families who have been hit hard by the drought, and other people who have also struggled because of it.
Dubbo mayor Ben Shields said the gesture was 'simply amazing'.
"Their donations come at such an important time," he said.
"With a green drought, it hides the fact that so many farmers have major debts and face quite some time before they will earn an income again."
Macarthur 4WD Club member Elias Wehbe said he chose Dubbo as their destination of choice after hearing Cr Shields, speaking about the issue on a Sydney radio station.
Cr Shields had been addressing the need for people to treat Western NSW as a tourist destination and support regional communities giving the hardships the area has faced, and is facing, due to the prolonged drought, the NSW bushfires and now COVID-19.
Mr Wehbe organised the drive for Dubbo and had aimed for a March 2020 delivery.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the visit came to a two-month halt, and in that time Mr Wehbe kept four pallets of water in his garage at home, waiting for the opportunity to be able to deliver the load.
The chance to hand the donations over finally came on Monday, when the club presented the donations to Aussie Helpers' Dubbo Depot coordinator Katie O'Brien and Cr Shields.
"This club of around 100 members has spent months raising thousands of dollars and have selflessly donated it to people in need," Cr Shields said.
"Aussie Helpers is a charity doing such great work to ensure farmers across Western NSW are getting the help they need, so they will be able to make great use of everything that has been delivered.