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From Braidwood to Mogo, helping NSW farmers with Christmas cheer

Elka Wood 14 November 2019
Helen Farley Braidwood Bendigo Bank

Helen Farley Braidwood Bendigo Bank with one of the parcels she has been collecting at Braidwood Bendigo Bank. Photo: Supplied.

Two old friends have joined a new national movement to spread a little Christmas cheer to rural women doing it tough around New South Wales.

Helen Farley, of Braidwood and Theresa Matthews, of Mogo, are both collecting parcels for distribution by drought-relief organization Ladies of the Land, which delivers parcels of treats to women living and working on farms during the Christmas period, typically a tough time on any farm due to hot and dry weather.

“I saw on Facebook that Helen was having the parcels dropped off at her work at Braidwood Bendigo Bank and I thought, maybe I could be the collection point for the Bateman’s Bay area,” Theresa, who owns The Mogo Lolly Shop, explains.

Non-profit Ladies of the Land was born earlier this year after Elzette Connan, a farmer from Cumnock, NSW, received a package from a friend who knew how much the family was struggling.

Elzette decided to try to put together 100 parcels for other women in similar situations and the project has snowballed fast, with 1000’s of parcels now expected to be delivered before Christmas.

Parcels will be delivered to farms using the NSW Department of Primary Industries Combined Drought Indicator Map to determine need.

Mogo Lolly Shop Theresa Matthews

Mogo Lolly Shop owner Theresa Matthews with a few of the parcel’s she has collected for Ladies of the Land. Photo: Supplied.

Theresa is not unfamiliar with being a lady of the land, having moved to Mogo in 2008 after selling 40 acres near Michelago.

“I used to shower with a bucket to collect water to keep my roses alive through the drought,” she says “I remember how stressful it was not having water.”

If you’d like to make up a parcel for a rural woman doing it tough, please include only items that will keep well until delivered, like lip balm, tea, chocolate, a magazine, skincare or small clothing items like a scarf or hat.

Anything you consider a luxury that you might not buy when money is tight.

Put the items in a shoebox.

“Batemans Bay Shoes have been really great, providing me with boxes, I now have some in my car so flag me down or pop into the shoe shop if you don’t have one!” Theresa laughs.

Wrapping parcels in newspaper cuts down on waste but also lets the recipient know where the parcel originated. Photo: Ladies of the Land Facebook.

Wrapping parcels in newspaper cuts down on waste but also lets the recipient know where the parcel originated. Photo: Ladies of the Land Facebook.

Wrap the parcel in your local newspaper so the recipient knows where it comes from and don’t forget to include a note or card.

Theresa has put a handmade sea glass pendant in each of the parcels she has made “so the women have a piece of the ocean with them” and, of course, her parcels will contain lots of her delicious lollies, fudge and chocolate!

Theresa will drive parcels from the Eurobodalla to Braidwood on December 4 and Helen will then take them on to Orange, NSW for distribution.

Ladies of the Land aim to collect 1000 parcels a week Australia-wide every week until delivery on December 10th.

Drop your parcel at The Mogo Lolly Shop or Braidwood Bendigo Bank before December 4.

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