A bus trip from the Hunter to a few drought-ravaged towns has injected a $26,000 boost to local economies.
The We Care Road Trip through Murrurundi, Narrabri, Moree and Manilla - some of the worst-hit communities, has left small businesses with much-needed funds in their tills.
Before the group set off they knew the drought was bad - that's why they were taking part, but nothing could have prepared them for the endless horizon of dusty paddocks they saw on March 30 and 31. It shook them.
The affect on country towns also struck a chord. In Moree 15 shops opened their doors - just for them, on a Sunday when they were usually closed.
The shopkeepers were so pleased to have customers flowing through their doors that they personally thanked every single one of them.
"People couldn't believe how thankful everybody was for us coming, at every shop you walked into they would thank you so much for coming," organiser Anne-Marie Best said.
"There were beautiful shops and unfortunately the shop owners are definitely struggling.
"In Moree they had beautiful clothing, an amazing jewellery store, shoes, art work and a beautiful homewares shop.
"It's really dry and barren between Moree and Manila, it even shocked me when I saw it. It's just dirt, there isn't even a weed. There is just nothing - empty paddocks of dirt."
Ironically, it was raining when the group left the Hunter and some of them were even drenched before they stepped onto the bus. But nobody dared to complain about the wet weather.
In fact, they wished they could have taken it with them.
Ms Best said she raised $5700 through ticket sales, $3885 through a raffle and auction, and received $1000 in donations.
The group spent more than $16,000 in four towns - $892 in Murrurundi, $1697 in Narrabri, $12,683 in Moree and $966 in Manilla. That took the overall injection to $26,823.
This is the second We Care Road Trip and Ms Best hopes to run another overnight journey in September.
The first trip, in September 2018, saw a bus load visit Merriwa, Gulargambone and then head further west to Coonabarabran where they spent the night before returning through Willow Tree.
"It all started when three of us were going to go on the drive and it's evolved into this. We've had really good groups take part, they are the kind of people who want to help," Ms Best said.
"There were a couple of people on the bus who had caravans and they have decided they will go back to Moree and spend some time there.
"Every little bit helps these towns, and it's a great way for people to assist. If people can't go for a week, go for a weekend. Even the money you spend on accommodation and at the cafe is something."