12 May 2020

From Braidwood to Mogo, helping NSW farmers with Christmas cheer

| Elka Wood
Helen Farley from Braidwood Bendigo Bank

Helen Farley 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 NSW.

Helen Farley of Braidwood and Theresa Matthews of Mogo are both collecting parcels for distribution by drought-relief organisation 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,” explains Theresa, who owns The Mogo Lolly Shop.

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 snowballed, with 1000s 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 owner Theresa Matthews

Mogo Lolly Shop owner Theresa Matthews with a few of the parcels 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. The best way to package them is 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.

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.

Wrapping parcels in newspaper

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

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 4 December and Helen will then take them on to Orange for distribution.

Ladies of the Land aims to collect 1000 parcels a week Australia-wide, every week until delivery on 10 December, but parcels will need to be dropped to The Mogo Lolly Shop or Braidwood Bendigo Bank before 4 December so they can be delivered on time.

Get packing!

Original Article published by Elka Wood on About Regional.

Original Article published by Elka Wood on The RiotACT.

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