A hug in the box for the bush

13th Nov 2019
Janelle Stewart

Jaclyn Bold runs a caravan and camping business in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney. It is a long way from Guyra, but family connections in the area made her all too aware of the struggles of life on the land during the current drought,
Following an online chat with one of those family members she made a midnight decision to see what she could do to help, launching a fundraising campaign to raise money for drought relief.
Drought Aid – Feed a Farmer was born and since then she has coordinated donations of not just money. but also food, personal items, toys and so much more. She has also teamed up with Guyra CWA Evening Branch and the Rotary Clubs of Armidale and Guyra to distribute the donations in the Armidale, Guyra and Glen Innes districts.
Her enthusiasm has spread and others have come on board, assisting with transport and organising fundraisers. Last week she undertook a road trip with her father Gary McFarlane. They travelled up the New England Highway hoping to inspire others to do the same.
Along the way she called in to drought-affected towns, buying from local shops and encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.
“Sometimes in the city, people are oblivious to what is going on in the bush, but I think that is changing and they really want to help,” Jaclyn said. “Getting out into the bush and spending time and money is something anyone can do and I’m encouraging customers and friends to take the inland route next time they head north and stop in at some of these small towns along the way.”
“Farmers are doing it tough, but so are the towns – everyone is feeling the pinch and help is available to anyone who needs it,” she said. “Delivering a hamper is our way of sending a hug in a box and we want everyone to feel the love.”
Arriving in Guyra last Friday, she met with representatives of the CWA, the Hub and NSW Farmers President James Jackson.
Jaclyn praised ‘the amazing ladies from the CWA’ who are packaging the donations ready for distribution to families.
Also with the help of the CWA she boosted the economy by purchasing $1000 in vouchers from local businesses which will also be distributed in the community.
Jaclyn hopes to continue the campaign as long as help is needed, and says that as long as people support her, she will continue to support the towns. You can follow her campaign on facebook https://www.facebook.com/droughtaid/

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