An online charity group, GIVIT, has delivered 200 supermarket vouchers for Cobar’s rural residents to purchase emergency drinking water.
GIVIT’S NSW Drought Relief Manager Scott Barrett coordinated the delivery worth $6,000 to Cobar last week with local staff from the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) helping to distribute the vouchers to remote properties.
GIVIT, a charity partner of the NSW Government to coordinate drought donations, also has a number of corporate partners that helps them to deliver the free service.
Mr Barrett described GIVIT as a “match making service” that linked people in need with donations of vouchers and goods.
He said GIVIT has a policy of buying vouchers locally in each community, so that they are not just supporting the local farmers, but also local businesses.
“We’re helping to support everyone in the community,” Mr Barrett said.
“We want to help to keep the local stores open and ticking over ensuring no jobs are lost and people don’t have to move away and take their families with them.
“We could buy a box of Weet-Bix in Sydney and send it up but we’d much rather the money was spent in the local community so it stays in the community,” he said.
Mr Barrett said it was important for GIVIT to connect with key stakeholders in each community to find out what they really need.
He said people sitting at a desk in an office in Sydney don’t really know what rural communities like Cobar need.
“We talk to service providers, charities and to schools.
“They’re the ones that know what their communities need.”
Mr Barrett said ensuring that communities stay connected was also very important.
He said supplying fuel vouchers that can assist farming families to travel to town for their kids to play sport, can play a big part in helping farming families to stay connected with others in their community.
During his visit to Cobar last Wednesday Mr Barrett met with personnel from a number of local organisations and was also keen to hear from more.
“If someone needs help, they can go to our web page [givit.org.au] and log on.
“It will only take a couple of minutes and it’s a free service,” he said.