Drought Angels worked hand-in-hand with the RACQ Foundation to stage what was known as an RDO – a rural day off – on the final day of a week-long project that provided hands-on help, mechanical or otherwise, to 39 properties in the region.
Read more: Mechanics make the difference at Morven
As Drought Angels founder, Natasha Johnston, said, it was a thank you for all that the graziers in the area do to produce food for the nation.
“We say we focus on the house paddock – we’ll send everyone away from here with lucerne hay, sheep and cattle pellets, dog food, poddy milk, grocery hampers, care packs, and Christmas goodies,” she said. “Every family today will get a $100 voucher as well.”
Hairdressers, a masseuse, kids’ games, food and drinks, and a night time concert were also coordinated, and $23,000 worth of lucerne hay bales were delivered, purchased by the foundation through the Morven rural supplies store.
Natasha said Drought Angels had picked Morven for assistance six or seven months ago, saying it was “one of those areas not getting so much attention”.
RACQ Foundation spokesman, Darryn Hammond, said it was part of his organisation’s remit to fill a gap wherever it was found, and that Drought Angels had been a good fit in this way.
“Some places are just obviously smashed and some have been missing out on government help,” he said.
“Community organisations are at the heart of rural communities.
“We can be in the buffer zone until government help gets there.
“Drought Angels is close to the pulse for where the greatest need is – they felt Morven could do with a helping hand.”
Related: Helping hand rolls into Charleville
Darryn said his organisation, begun after the 2011 floods that pummeled large parts of Queensland, liked the on-ground support approach.
While it touched fewer people, there was a deeper connection, he said.
Some 45 families from 39 properties registered for the RDO.
Darryn said there was no shortage of RACQ staff putting their hands up to work on the foundation’s five on-ground drought projects so far.
“They take so much away from it,” he said. “It’s a privilege to be a part of.”
Since it was established, the RACQ Foundation has paid out $8m to over 200 community organisations hit by flood, drought or fire.
Feel-good bra story
Beer was not the only good news story at Morven on Saturday; bras had Libby from Logan and a number of local women smiling.
Thanks to the generous donation of a bra fitting specialist, one of the cartons of goodies unloaded contained dozens of bras of all shapes and sizes.
It made plenty of the women attending very happy, according to Libby from Logan, who had accompanied her truck driver husband west as he picked up pallets of stock feed for distribution.
“A lady was in before, she wore a DD bra, and she said she was shopping locally and couldn’t find a single one, so we went through and found four that she could walk out with.
“Another larger lady found some bras and said, they’re pretty, they’re not just practical. She was so excited to find what she needed.
“If you can’t afford to feed your family, you can’t afford to buy a pretty bra. So bras have been my feel-good today.”