AS FARMERS in Longreach are brought to their knees by a two-year drought which has seen them receive just an inch of rain this summer, they have little idea a community 1130km away is rallying behind them.
Warwick's Community Disaster Relief Van is gathering donations for an Outback Relief Fund, aiming to help hundreds of struggling families hardest hit by the crippling drought in Western Queensland.
CDRV Board member Amanda Nothdurft said she was hoping at least 1000 families would benefit from the appeal.
"I'm really hoping for 500 boxes of food and a few semi-trailer loads of hay," she said.
"We're encouraging people to take home a box and keep filling it with spare food from their grocery shopping over the next six weeks."
The CDRV volunteers have been working hard getting businesses on board, with a number of supermarkets including IGA and Coles Toowoomba agreeing to donate.
"We're hoping to get palettes of water - hopefully the supermarkets will donate some," Mrs Nothdurft said.
"If we can benefit at least 500 people it would be good."
The CDRV began in 2013 after Warwick was hit by its third flood in three years, but compared to the flood Brian Nothdurft said the drought was much slower and dragged on for much longer.
"Drought just keeps going and going and going - it's not like a flood which happens in an instant," he said.
Donations will begin to be distributed to families in the Longreach area from April 10 - giving locals just five weeks to dig deep and get collecting.
To make a donation there are several options - see the CDRV team in the Rose City Shoppingworld March 4, 17 and 18 or phone Amanda on 0431 110 404 or Maritta on 0439 003 924.
YOU CAN HELP
- Donate funds (which will go directly to those affected) towards support in the area
- Donate goods and products, such as canned and dry goods, stock feed, equipment and parts
- Purchase a gift card to donate from the following businesses with stores in Longreach - IGA, Foodworks, Mitre10, Caltex, Shell and Mobil.
- Donate your time or services - volunteers are needed for trade and labour in general maintenance and help around properties.
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