Monday, 17 March 2014

Bale Out Ball- Helping our Aussie Farmers!

Last week on Facebook, I was invited by a friend to 'like' a page called Bale Out Ball. My immediate thought was that it was an invite to a fun night out in the country with the intention to fundraise for farmers in need of financial help. What a great idea and worthy cause! But on further reading, it was far more than that…and I think what possibly started with that idea in one small Riverina community, suddenly overnight, started spreading all over the country like an out of control bushfire. Within days, the page had two thousand likes and now just a bit over two weeks later, it has reached nearly 3,800 likes. What a great effort! Not only that, with so much support created from this page, there are now plans to help set up Bale Out Ball events all over Australia.

Bale Out Ball is the brainchild of Sarah McCaig- a farmer's wife and very busy mum to three small children. Sarah and her husband Andrew, live and run a farm 30kms north west of Coolamon in New South Wales. Andrew's family has been farming in the district for over 130 years and the McCaig family still own and run the original farm.

Being on the land themselves, they are very much in touch with the current crisis facing Australian farmers. Sarah's passion and enthusiasm to bring awareness to everyone in both city and country regarding this situation is inspiring and so typical of that great aussie bush spirit.

Sarah has been incredibly busy juggling her young family, work and farm commitments and setting up the Bale Out Ball events and liasing with lots of people interested in helping, including Aussie Helpers. But amongst all of that, she still found time to chat to me on the phone with her incredibly bubbly, friendly and energetic nature and send me the summary below of what she hopes to achieve from these community events.

So, in Sarah's words…..

Aussie farmers and their families across our entire country are experiencing one of the worst droughts seen in Australian history. Farmers  are doing it tough both financially and emotionally. They face the reality of no money, no income, no food or water for livestock and limited support from the government. There needs to be change!!!! I am just a farmer's wife and mum who is hoping by making a small contribution  to these rural communities we can make a huge difference to their lives .
In the past farming communities came together with country dances, family fun days and sporting events. There was fun, laughter and sometimes tears but everyone talked and supported each other. This no longer happens among the community. People are to caught up in modern ways and problems of today that they have forgotton the art of talking and listening. As people are not receiving the emotional support they need, depression and suicide are becoming a major part of rural Australia . I want this to change and to get communities talking, put smiles on people's faces and back the country way of life.

In the next 12 months I am asking communities all over Australia to band together and host a "BALE OUT BALL" event. These events are about farmers, their families and communities getting together, having a great time , sharing stories and showing support . A "BALE OUT BALL " event can be a BBQ , a dinner party , a long lunch , family camp out , sporting day , a ball or concert . The choice is YOURS !!!! Use what your community has and utelise it . Not every community can contribute financially but by planning some kind of get together you are showing that you care as well as providing emotional support . If any community does have the opportunity to raise money it will be donated to both farmers in drought affected areas as well as some being put back in into their own community .
In our local community we are organising a cricket day, fundraisers, a family camp out, a ball and hopefully a charity concert . These events will occur throughout the entire year and hopefully start bring communities together . Our community in the Riverina of NSW has been affected in some way by drought in the last 10 years and we do have VERY personal experiences of how tough it can be.  We are currently not drought declared but people are still struggling to get over the last drought. My husband Andrew , our 3 kids Travis , Charlie and Maisie want to use our experiences to try and help each others. I want to raise awareness of struggling farmers and try and assist them in some way so PLEASE have a "BALE OUT BALL" event it will Help to BALE Aussie farmers out of this dry spell, put a huge smile on their dial and fill their hearts with pride.

Like the saying, from little things, big things grow…..Well done to Sarah for planting the seed - putting the idea out there and spreading the word about the current hardships facing Aussie farmers. Moreso, for helping to give communities a good reason to get back together and have a laugh and know that they are all there to support each other, through the good times and the bad.

For further information on how you can help, either via a donation or by organising a community event, please contact Sarah on 0409 335448 or follow the Bale Out Ball page on facebook here for daily updates. Donations can also be made to Aussie Helpers here

All photos taken by Sarah McCaig of their property at Coolamon.

1 comment:

  1. Kylie I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Us city folk don't really see a lot of the hard work and heartache that can happen in the country. Thank you for opening my eyes and giving me further respect for our Aussie Farmers.
    Yvette x


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