How Gladstone can pitch in to help drought-stricken farmers
COURTNEY Johnson remembers what it was like to live in a drought-stricken region.
The Wurdong Heights resident grew up in a town where water levels once hit 3 per cent, with dying crops all that could be seen for kilometres around.
"When we'd go on small holidays, my favourite thing was seeing the rolling hills of green grass, because it was such an unknown," she said.
So with 57.4 per cent of Queensland drought-declared as of this month, Miss Johnson knew it was time she stepped up to help struggling farmers.
Miss Johnson approached Aussie Helpers, a charity designed to keep farming families on the land where they belong.
The charity told her that if she set up drop-off points around Gladstone for people to donate food and items, they would arrange for the donations to be taken by truck to Charleville and distributed to the worst-hit parts of the state.
Despite starting the initiative less than a week ago, Miss Johnson said the response so far had been "amazing".
"Every single drop-off point has had donations already," she told The Observer.
She said the best items to donate were non-perishable food, household items, animal feed, gift cards and fuel cards.
"Gift cards are really useful so they can spend the money in their local towns," she said.
"Fuel vouchers as well... when you live such a long way from your nearest town it can all get pretty expensive.
"We want this to be ongoing - there is no end date!"
Anyone wanting to donate money can do it directly by visiting aussiehelpers.org.au