Donors do it tough but still manage to help west’s farmers

MORE than $20,000 has been raised and 175 round bales of fodder delivered from the Shoalhaven to drought-stricken farmers in western NSW.

In the past two weeks Nowra businessmen David Bennett and Jason Schuman drove a campaign to send fodder to farmers in Coonamble.

They were overwhelmed by a response that came in many forms, from donations of money to trucks, hay and time.

The most recent donation was a good example of those who could least afford it giving to others.

On Tuesday residents of St Vincent de Paul Jim da Silva Farm handed over their combined donation of $900.

The men of Jim da Silva Farm are winning the battle against drug and alcohol addiction. Many have been homeless but wanted to give money to the campaign.

Mr Bennett said it gave him goosebumps when he thought of all the money the people who have little to give donated to the cause.

“The farmers of Coonamble were overwhelmed, they were speechless at the generosity.

“Things have been so bad out west, I say we’re not feeding livestock we are saving farmers’ lives.

“These deliveries have only been a drop in the ocean for the farmers but it put some smiles on faces and gave them a morale boost.”

The campaign involved raising funds to buy local fodder, but the operation would not have worked without someone willing to transport the large bales by semi-trailer.

This was where Mr Schuman from TNT and his trucking company contacts came to the fore.

“So many people from around Nowra have got behind this in a very short period of time,” he said.

“Douglas Transport and Godlewski Transport have lent me trailers and trucks to take the bales out there.

“That’s about 2000kilometres of wear on those vehicles and tyres, not to mention to the time they’re unable to work locally.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of my driver Andrew Russo who came out both weekends, it’s about ten hours driving each way,” he said.

Mr Bennett thanked everyone who helped out or donated to the campaign.

“These deliveries have only been a drop in the ocean for the farmers but it put some smiles on faces and gave them a moral boost.”

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