Drought Angels: An Aussie Organisation Dedicated to Drought-Affected Farmers5 November 2019
Rural communities are at the heart of Australian society. Their hard work and respective crop yields put food on our plates each season, however with the major 2017 drought still in effect today, farmers and their families are in need of serious support more now than ever. When Natasha Johnson and Nicki Blackwell heard stories of farmers not being able to put food on their own plates, they fundraised enough money to support one family and thus the idea of Drought Angels was born. An Australian organisation dedicated to providing personalised support to drought-affected families, Drought Angels is changing the way we think about and provide relief for our rural communities.
Here are just some of the ways they are providing support for drought-affected farmers and their families.
Financial Services and Support Amidst the Drought
Droughts are periods of prolonged dry weather that result in crop damage and water supply shortage. The New South Wales drought that started mid-way through 2017 is still in effect today and is equivalent to major drought events on the long-term historical record. By providing support in the form of stock feed, prepaid visas and local produce vouchers from surrounding communities, Drought Angels are able to provide personalised support to farmers and families affected by the drought.
Personalised Services and Support for Mental Health
While the devastating impacts the drought has taken on the land are obvious, the toll it has taken on the mental health of farming families has been just as trying. The suicide rate in rural communities is already double that of urban ones with isolation and difficulty accessing services adding to anxiety and depression. By offering moral support through face to face or phone contact and referring farming families to other support networks as needed, Drought Angels are able to connect them to the services they need during this time of extreme hardship.
Rural Day Off Events
The Rural Day Off is an event hosted by Drought Angels that invites 50 farming families to a day off the property. Understanding the importance of mental health in rural communities, RDO’s provide the opportunity for families to unwind in a fun yet relaxed environment. Providing food and beverages from morning tea right through to dinner and dessert with ample entertainment aimed at all ages, farming families have the chance to socialise, build solidarity with others and leave knowing they are not alone. Every family leaves with a Rural Goody Bag comprised of local vouchers, hampers, dog food and hay as well as the chance to receive beauty treatments such as haircuts and massages.
If you want to support drought affected farmers and their families, head to the Drought Angels website and learn about different ways you can help. Best&Less has gotten behind the cause by selling the 2020 Drought Angels Calendar online and in-store where 100% of the proceeds will go towards helping rural communities in need. Find out where your closest store is so you can head in and grab one to help Australian farmers.