Volunteer truck drivers have delivered toys to pastoralist families in drought affected areas across outback New South Wales.
- Truck drivers delivered donated toys to children affected by drought in outback NSW
- The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners made toy drops in Louth, Tilpa, White Cliffs, Packsaddle and Tibooburra
- The toy drops were made to recognise that grazier children were often forgotten sufferers during drought
The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners are well known for delivering hay to farmers devastated by drought.
This time they made a special trip to deliver toys to grazier kids who often bore the brunt of dry land just as much as their parents.
The organisation’s founder Brendan Farrell made toy drops to the outback communities of Louth, Tilpa, White Cliffs, Packsaddle and Tibooburra.
“Whether its sporting goods, Lego, board games and other bits and pieces and away we go,” Mr Farrell said.
About 150 children chose five toys each and some of them had travelled more than 130 kilometres to attend.
Allowing kids to be kids
Nundora Station grazier Amy Mannion took her three children to the toy drop in Packsaddle and said grazier kids were often forgotten sufferers of drought.
“Kids are expected to do a lot more than what their age anticipates,” Ms Mannion said.
“So the fact that this toy run is for them means that kids can be kids.”
Ms Mannion said her five-year-old daughter Imogen was affected by the drought when the big dry was at its worst.
“She was getting quite emotional with it just because we were having to get rid of our cattle and sheep and weren’t holding on to everything,” she said.
Delivering joy as well as toys
Mr Farrell said the toys were a simple way of sharing a bit of joy with kids who had endured drought alongside their parents.
The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners have been collecting hay donations and make deliveries to the country’s driest farming communities since 2014.
“I thoroughly enjoy the “pill of giving”, as we call it… there’s me and two other good mates and we love it,” Mr Farrell said.
In January, more than 6,000 hay bales were donated to struggling farmers in Queensland and NSW by the charity amid the country’s catastrophic bushfire crisis.
Not out of drought
Fowlers Gap Station grazier Vicki Dowling said the toy drop was a great opportunity for her eight-year-old son to be social again.
“With the school not being able to gather like they do normally it’s an opportunity for my son to socialise — and us too,” she said.
The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners plan to keep drought in the spotlight since some stations are still waiting for rain, despite the fact some stations have had falls.
“You’ve got to try and make sure you keep the finger on the pulse all the time,” Mr Farrell said.
“The drought hasn’t gone away by any means and there’s still a lot of farmers and communities that are in a lot of trouble all over Australia.
“So while the pill of giving is still there I’ll keep going.”