Kylie Kreckler’s morning commute last Thursday started like any other.
That was until she heard more about the devastation of the drought in the Upper Hunter on the radio.
By the time she arrived for work at Beaumont Tiles Rutherford, she had decided to buy a bale of hay through Rural Aid to support farmers in Muswellbrook.
But, when she saw there was an option for corporate fundraising she couldn’t look away.
Within 24 hours, the fundraising goal had grown from one bale to 10 truckloads – valued at $95,000 – and a national commitment from Beaumont Tiles Australia.
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On Friday, a week later, they had raised enough for seven bales of hay.
“It just happened really quickly,” Mrs Kreckler said.
“It is just our little shop here but we are part of something bigger – we’re doing our bit.”
Beaumont Tiles shoppers nationwide will have an opportunity to play their part too, with the company committing to donate $2 to the campaign from every square metre of tiles sold on Saturday.
All money raised will benefit Muswellbrook farmers.
“That’s our area, we deliver out that way a couple of days a week so we physically see how dry it is out there,” Mrs Kreckler said.
“You can’t buy hay for love or money and what you can find is so overpriced.
“There is nothing and everyone is scraping to find it, let alone buy it – it’s really desperate.”
Mrs Kreckler is calling on the Lower Hunter to donate to Rural Aid, but she has a different message for those up the valley.
“I’m not asking the Muswellbrook community to donate to us,” she said.
“In Maitland, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie we really needs the community to get behind us and help those guys up there.
“Our message to Muswellbrook is if you need help, you need to put up your hand.”
The assistance won’t stop with fundraising.
The team is planning to host a barbecue for the farmers in Muswellbrook on the hay delivery day.
“It’s going to be really tough the next couple of years and they’re having to make hard decisions now,” she said.
“We can’t make it rain so we just need to give them a hand.”
Watch farmers receiving hay in Gundy in March