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.❞
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.