The Ballina Community Gives Walcha a Helping Hand During the Big Dry
The first of eight truckloads carting more than 300 bales of hay from Ballina to Walcha arrived on an extremely grateful local farmer’s property last night.
Two truck drivers have donated their time and will travel 3,000 kilometres each to cart the hay from Tathan near Casino to drought-affected properties within the Walcha community.
From selling pumpkins, to making donations from the other side of the world, organiser Tere Sheehan says the effort from the Ballina community has been truly breathtaking.
“We’ve had 14-year-old kids sell pumpkins, fruit and veg on the side of the road to raise money.” Sheehan said.
“One kid came up with $542 that he raised all on his own by selling products on the side of the road and donated the whole lot of it to the fund.
“I’ve had people contact me from Washington DC and make donations over the phone it’s been absolutely amazing.”
Difficult times often bring out the best in people or in this case the Ballina community and it’s only taken one hay delivery for Tere to see the impact of his town’s actions.
“I’ve actually contacted the lady this morning that is receiving the first lot of hay and she was actually in tears when I spoke to her.
“That really tells us we’re doing the right thing and they’re in disparate need of help out there so we’re just absolutely privileged that the Ballina Community can do something."
The decision to donate the hay to Walcha of all places may seem a bit random but Tere and his team are hoping the donations could pave the way for a great relationship between Ballina and it’s adopted town.
“We did some research on the town and that area and realised how bad it was out there.
“We thought the best way for us to do it was instead of sending little bits everywhere we’d adopt a town and Walcha was that town.
“We’re hoping it’s going to be an ongoing relationship that we have with the township of Walcha.''