What you are doing for the drought in NSW

judy adamson
What you are doing for the drought in NSW image

Anglican Aid has been pumping out desperately needed funds to struggling families and communities, with more than $475,000 raised through its drought appeal from organisations and individuals across the country.

Where the money comes from

“It’s fascinating where the money has come from- churches, schools, organisations and generous individuals,” says Anglican Aid’s operations manager, Eddie Ozols. “We’ve had lots of donations come in from churches we don’t know – a little church in Patchewollock sent a couple of hundred dollars from their own congregation, then a group in town ran a music event and sent us $800.

“We’ve also received money from Reformed Churches of Australia in WA, Tasmania and Queensland – they wrote to all their churches saying, ‘We’re encouraging you that if you want to donate to the drought, donate to the Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid. I asked why they had chosen to do that, and they said people could give money to secular organisations but with Anglican Aid ‘you know the gospel will go with the dollars’.”

"You know the gospel will go with the dollars"

The money has been used to pay for a vast array of practical needs: groceries, hay, water, fuel, medical expenses, rent, farming equipment, school uniforms and more.

The people receiving support

And the stories behind these needs are heart-wrenching. The Ven Grahame Yager has been co-ordinating the distribution of aid for the Diocese of Bathurst. He describes what he has seen on properties over the past 12 months as “the worst situation I have experienced” in 25 years of living in western NSW.

"The worst situation I have experienced"

“In some situations I have been told, ‘There are people worse off than me’ only to find, after accepting the offer of a cuppa, that the fridge is all but empty and, in some cases, the hot water has been turned off to save money,” he says. “Once a breakthrough is made there are always tears.

“It is impossible to express the difference organisations such as Anglican Aid are making in the lives of people, families and communities at this most challenging time.”

We were able to organise a chaplain visit - completing the circle

Anglican Aid was also able to help fund an urgent trip to Sydney for surgery for a Gilgandra farmer, and Mr Ozols alerted a chaplain at the hospital to his arrival so he could be visited. “It was nice to complete the circle by asking the gentleman if he would like a chaplain visit and be able to organise that through Anglicare,” he says.

Local farmers spoke of their thanks that others had recognised the relentless “physical, mental, relational and financial” hardships faced by those in drought-affected communities:

Anglican Aid has been overwhelmed by generosity

Regional partners are assessing the needs and distributing the aid. To date about half of the money raised has been distributed throughout the Armidale and Bathurst dioceses, although support is sent where it’s needed and asked for – which has seen funds sent as far afield as Victoria and Queensland.

“Anglican Aid has been overwhelmed by the generosity of God’s people across Australia,” Mr Ozols says. “There has been no meaningful rainfall in the drought-stricken areas since the appeal commenced in September 2018, so ongoing support will be needed.

There has been no meaningful rainfall since September 2018

“It has been great to get to know regional Anglican churches, some struggling themselves, displaying generosity and bringing hope – not just with money but pastoral hearts of care and love. This is the church fulfilling Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: supporting those in need.”

To donate, see [url=https://anglicanaid.org.au/nsw-drought-relief-appeal]https://anglicanaid.org.au/nsw-drought-relief-appeal[/url] or phone 02 9284 1406.