Avenel community raise funds for NSW drought

By Rodney Woods

Nearly $20000 has been raised by the small community of Avenel to assist drought-affected farmers in north-western NSW.

Avenel resident Kate Steers came up with the idea to start the fundraiser after reading about Bugaldie resident Jess Taylor and her family’s story in the Australian edition of The Guardian.

‘‘I saw the story in The Guardian and read about her and her husband and four kids, who run a farm, and she said how dry it is,’’ Ms Steers said.

‘‘I got in contact with her on social media and went from there.’’

The fundraiser, called ‘It Just Takes One’, is something the 1048 Avenel residents have enthusiastically got behind.

‘‘I set up a bank account and got four members of the community to act as signatories,’’ Mrs Steers said.

‘‘We put up flyers in businesses in Avenel which showed how people can donate.’’

Mrs Steers has travelled to Bugaldie, near Coonabarabran, with supplies, stockfeed and water, creating a bond between the two towns.

Avenel Primary School has been a big contributor to the effort, raising $6400 of the $20000.

This money will go directly to Baradine Central School, which is near the Bugaldie community of 144 people.

The Avenel students organised a walkathon, a silver coin challenge, a Footy for Farmers Day and an end-of-term lunch to raise the money.

Mrs Steers said she decided to do the fundraiser because she wanted to help people in need.

‘‘The ‘It Just Takes One’ fundraiser is all about one community helping another,’’ she said.

Mrs Steers said the fundraising would not have happened without the help of the community.

‘‘All the local business and the community of Avenel have been amazing supporters of this fundraiser in so many different ways.’’