CWA reflects on drought support

Forbes CWA President Elaine Bright (front left) and treasurer Sue Robinson (front right) with Forbes CWA members at their meeting on Thursday.
Forbes CWA President Elaine Bright (front left) and treasurer Sue Robinson (front right) with Forbes CWA members at their meeting on Thursday.

In almost three years the Country Women's Association (CWA) of NSW has allocated almost $19 million in grants under its Drought Aid scheme.

Now the scheme has wrapped up. Applications have dropped since Christmas and the organisation feels it's the right time to close the fund.

"We could never have imagined when the scheme was set up - with a release of $100,000 from the CWA of NSW Disaster Relief Fund - the extent and severity of this drought," CWA of NSW President Stephanie Stanhope said.

"It has gone on for much longer than anticipated but thankfully the fund continued to have money available thanks to the amazing generosity of so many donors."

In addition to the organisation's financial support for farming families, Forbes CWA was one of many not-for-profit organisations in our area that helped here on the ground.

Forbes CWA president Elaine Bright thought back across the past three years to capture some of the ways our local volunteers stepped up to help:

Members posted out information and applications on CWA assistance to farming families in our area.

They were also a major distribution point for the "ladies of the land" boxes of gifts: these originated from a family in Cumnock hoping to deliver sunshine to Ladies during the drought. Forbes CWA was able to pick up and deliver many of these to ladies in our district.

On another two occasions local CWA members helped the Food Van with the boxes of food to be delivered here in Forbes.

CWA hospitality came to the fore when the hay runners came to Forbes: and the ladies were very surprised and fortunate to receive vouchers to the distribute to local farming families from them as well.

They CWA was also more than willing to contribute and serve with morning tea at the Garema "Get Up and Go" gathering at the saleyards.

Our CWA helped Di Gill from The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) host a craft and wellness day for locals in our CWA Hall by serving lunch and craft ideas, they organised a quilt and craft show where the profits went to vouchers, and helped to distribute clothing and vouchers donated by Gerringong Lions.

CWA members made Fathers' Day boxes and knee rugs, which they shared with The Pantry along with more Why Leave Town vouchers to support farming families.

The last project was making up a large number of Family Christmas Bags. Once again some of these were distributed through Nell's Pantry 4 Farmers.

Throughout this time they also donated toys, books, sewing boxes, sewing needs, material, wool, knitting needles, fruit and many other items all from CWA members to the pantry.