Rural Towns Are Still Recovering From The Bushfires So Here’s How To Help If You’re From The City

When you live in a city, it’s easy to feel far, far, far removed from country Australia and the challenges faced by the people living in these remote areas.

We don’t need to remind you that many towns have been battling the double whammy of bushfires and droughts for a bloody long time. You’ve seen the headlines and read the staggering statistics. The good news is that many parts of Australia are no longer considered to be in the throes of a drought, but that doesn’t mean the effects aren’t still being felt.

One year on from the worst fire season in recent history, some Aussie farmers are still without a home and livestock — meaning there’s not much money trickling in.

It’s our opinion that one of the best things you can do in a situation like this (i.e. where you want to help but also don’t know the first thing about how to actually do it), is to support the people who are already doing the good work.

That’s where organisations like Rural Aid come in. This particular charity provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Basically, when a natural disaster hits, they’re the ones who sweep in and help communities recover.

“A big THANK YOU to all our city cousins for their generosity and thoughts as we battled our way through the drought,” a farmer named Angus told Rural Aid. “There used to be a great divide between the city and the bush, but I think that gap has closed, as I don’t think we could have got through this drought without them and their wonderful support. And a big thank you to the farmers who donated feed to their fellow farmers, even though they were battling hard times as well.”

To make an even bigger impact in 2021, Rural Aid has partnered with Play For Purpose. Together, they’re running a raffle where you can buy a $10 ticket to go into the draw to win the first prize worth $250K (that’s not a typo, just a helluva prize).

Here’s a look at exactly where your money’s going. Rural Aid’s major focus for this year is to support the mental wellbeing of farmers and invest in community regeneration. Essentially, that means they have a team of counsellors visit farmers on their property where possible (or via telehealth, if not) to check-in and see how they’re coping. To date, they’ve facilitated a massive 6,000 sessions (and they’re just getting started).

As for community regeneration, Rural Aid selects towns that need help and slings them $100K over five years, as part of their ‘Our Towns’ initiative. They then send a team of 30-50 volunteers into the town for a week to help with any jobs they need, like painting buildings, installing new fences, and giving utilities a zhuzh.

You can even sign up through Rural Aid to become one of the helpers, so if you’re looking for a way to make your annual leave count in 2021 (and see a different side of Australia), this is a great option.

The Rural Aid drive with Play For Purpose closes on 11 March, 2021 at 8 pm AEST. You can buy your tickets right here and while you’re there, you can read over the full terms and conditions.