Answers to give peace of mind to drought relief donors
THE organisers of Operation Bush Christmas 2, Bryan and Kerry Robins, know from experience it's vital to be open and transparent with the community.
"We know from last time people had questions about what we were doing, so we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help put people at ease.''
1. What if it rains between now and Christmas?
Even it there is substantial rain soon, it's not going to be a great help before Christmas.
Farmers have already spent much of their reserves getting through the drought and won't be able to recover in time to enjoy Christmas with their families.
2. What good will some gifts and a small cash donation do?
We know from experience those little things matter a lot to people doing it tough.
So many of the letters noted it was not so much the gift they received as the knowledge people were thinking of them at this time that was so comforting.
A lot of those farmers had told their kids not to expect anything under the tree this Christmas, so for those families it was such a relief for them to be able to give their kids gifts for Christmas.
And for the adults having something to lavish on themselves, like hand cream or some other personal product, was a break.
We also encouraged everyone to cash those cheques at local businesses to give a boost to people in the towns who were also struggling due to the drought.
3. Wouldn't it be better for everyone to donate through a central fund or organisation dealing with drought relief?
For us we believe it's more the merrier.
No other organisation is focusing on Christmas for the families and will be working over the nearly four months up to Christmas.
Other groups are doing things that will be over well before Christmas while others are concentrating on helping farm animals by donating bales of hay or bags of dog food.
We want to make sure there is a little bit of Christmas cheer for a lot of families in need and we've tailored Operation Bush Christmas 2 to make sure we can do that.
4. Why should the public donate to farmers when the government is distributing so much aid?
Again, we think everyone in Australia wants to do something to help, no matter how small.
Sure our taxes are going to pay for government aid to farmers, but that is distributed through agencies and is subject to means testing.
Operation Bush Christmas is designed to target struggling farm families directly and put them in touch with other families who want to show the country they care and are thinking of them.
5. What more can we do to help?
There are plenty of other organisations that want to help. If your club or organisation is doing something to help, jump on board. We've heard of people just jumping in their cars to drive out west and drop off aid.