Ham­pers help women cope with drought

❝I re­mem­ber one lady telling us she used to go around and hide all the dead lambs un­der bushes be­fore her hus­band saw them.❞

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Michael Mattingly — An­nette Whit­ford

LEANNE Whitely and An­nette Whit­ford have seen the suf­fer­ing the drought is caus­ing NSW farmers first hand.

The women, based in Echuca and Kyabram re­spec­tively, have been trav­el­ling around drop­ping ham­pers to farmers who are fac­ing the bat­tle of their lives. And they are par­tic­u­larly fo­cus­ing on women on the land.

The ini­tia­tive, now called Ham­pers for Out­back Women War­riors, was started by Leanne.

Since she kicked it off, one of her main re­cruits has been Kyabram lo­cal An­nette.

An­nette has been do­ing all she can to help Leanne get the ham­pers to­gether and even joined Leanne for a trip to visit the farmers.

“Orig­i­nally the idea was to have about 30 ham­pers but Leanne ended up send­ing 600 women’s packs,” An­nette said. A women’s pack can in­clude things such as sham­poo, can­dles, mois­turiser and the like, but Leanne wasn’t stop­ping there.

“She also sent 200 food packs, and now she has an­other 100 women’s ham­per packs ready to go.”

An­nette wasn’t asked to join the group, she sim­ply saw the great work Leanne was do­ing and wanted to get in­volved.

Dur­ing the trip through NSW, An­nette saw the dam­age the lack of rain is bring­ing to the land. Along with Leanne, she heard har­row­ing sto­ries that will stay with them for ever.

“I re­mem­ber one lady telling us she used to go around and hide all the dead lambs un­der bushes and things be­fore her hus­band saw them so it wouldn’t worry or stress him,” An­nette said.

“That stuff just breaks my heart.

“The women with these prob­lems need to be looked af­ter too, just like the men do.”

An­nette said ev­ery­one can help Leanne on her mis­sion.

“There are lots of peo­ple help­ing out, I am cer­tainly not the only one.

“I just do what I can to help out, whether that is pick­ing up some goodies off peo­ple who want to donate and driv­ing them to Echuca or even buy­ing food or prod­ucts with money my friends or fam­ily have sent me.

“Our next mis­sion is to col­lect shoe­boxes and fill them with cakes and foods and other things, just small gifts.”

An­nette said Kyabram peo­ple can drop dona­tions to Nat­u­rally Re­stored — across from the wa­ter tower — or they can ring her on 0418 441 442.

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