For the past few months, Australia has been battling some of the worst bushfires we have ever seen, many of which are still burning all around the country. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, lives were lost, and families were left with nothing. Woonona Petfood and Produce wanted to do our part to help the victims of the fires and thanks to our wonderful customers, friends and suppliers, we were able to do just that.
So how did we make it happen?
Despite facing a severe drought in Canowindra, our hay supplier Mark Ward selflessly donated 300 BALES of Lucerne Hay, to ensure the affected horses, cattle and livestock were well fed. Hay is currently one of the most scarce resources in NSW, and Mark could have easily sold this truck load of hay for thousands of dollars. Instead he chose to donate the hay to us to distribute to those who needed it most. We will be forever grateful.
Through peoples generous donations, we were also able to fill the trucks with over $2700 worth of horse, livestock, chicken, dog and cat food. People were purchasing everything from bags of dog food, to rabbit food and dog toys to make sure that people who were lucky enough to save their pets had access to food and other essentials for them. In addition to this, we put a shout out to our community that we would be collecting donations of food, clothes etc. We were overwhelmed with the response, and in three days collected over 24 pallets of everyday essentials such as toothpaste, nappies, sanitary products, baby formula, clothing, towels, blankets, cooking utensils and non-perishable foods such as canned items, biscuits, coffee and tea, muesli bars and pasta. A special shout out must go to Kerrie Blackwell from Helensburgh who donated 5 car loads of goods which were collected in the Helensburgh community, as well as the amazing Share The Dignity organisation who donated over 50 bags filled with women's sanitary items.
Our friends at Poseidon Equine also donated boxes and boxes of their new Stress Paste, for us to distribute to those with equine friends who were not coping during the recent chain of stressful events. Thanks so much to Linda and the team for making this happen!
Last but not least, one of our wonderful suppliers Masterpet (who many of you will know as Black Hawk) very generously donated a pallet of Black Hawk Dog Food as well as over 300 dog collars, leads, toys and other essentials. This company is always the first to put their hand up and support in those times of need and we are very grateful for the efforts of Michelle and the team who made this happen.
Once the donations were gathered, we spent the entire weekend packing these goods into individual boxes labelled with the contents and this would not have been possible without Deb, The Maddox Family, The Churchill Family, Renee Miller, The Chadwick Family and many of our staff and family members who worked back long hours to help out, as well as the generous customers who delivered us biscuits and chocolate to keep us all going!
On Monday, we had to make the call that we could unfortunately accept no more physical goods due to our trucks being full to the brim - what a great problem to have. Thanks to David Williams Excavations we were able to pack his truck full of goods to send down to those in need in Cobargo, and also load up a truck which was sent to Nerriga. Despite being unable to take on more goods, our generous customers still continued to donate and we are very proud to say we will be writing a cheque for $6861.00 to The Red Cross Bushfire Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. This means funds will be going directly to those in need.
Thank you to the following people for their outstanding donations of $1000 each!
- Lisa Ford
- Perry's Roofing
On Tuesday the 7th of January, Dennis and our wonderful warehouse staff Matt, Tony and Jason, took the trip down the coast in their own time and unloaded the goods at Milton Showground which was used as a central distribution point for those affected in the Ulladulla, Nowra, Conjola and Batemans Bay Regions. The boys were all touched by the heartfelt response from the community down there and said everyone was extremely grateful for the donations. Another thank you must go to Mark James, Jane Quinn, Milea Woods and everyone else from the Ulladulla Region who helped coordinate the distribution in Milton, and to Col Boyd, his family and the team at Boyd Haulage Ulladulla who sent the forklifts to help unload.
Finally, we would like to extend our thankyou to our amazing customers and suppliers from near and far who came together during this devastating time. This is a display of true Aussie Spirit and we are so proud to be apart of a community who support each other in times of need. Whether you donated a can of food, helped us pack boxes, or even shared our Facebook post - THANK YOU! We couldn't have done it without you all.
To all those who have been and continue to be affected by the bushfires, we are sending you all our love and thoughts during this tough time. These people are going to be battling for weeks, months and years to come and its not too late to donate! Click the link below!
From Brenda, Dennis, Keeley, Georgia and the entire team at Woonona Petfood and Produce, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everyone's support xxx