A Border teacher will skip class this week – with permission – to bring some happiness to children whose farming families are struggling through the drought.
Gabi Menzies, a history teacher at Albury High School, and her parents will travel to Broken Hill to deliver care packages for School of the Air students and their siblings.
A similar trip to Hay is planned for May.
“Over 270 bags were made and we spent over 12 hours putting them together,” Miss Menzies said.
She and her mother Janice in September co-founded Doin’ It for Drought Affected Kids, a non-profit campaign endorsed by the Rotary Club of Coolamon.
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Mrs Menzies, who lives on land north of Wagga, said she wanted to do something “one farmer to another”.
“Kids really miss out,” she said.
“They see their mums and dads come home from really hard days' work and they don’t want to ask Mum and Dad for any special items or anything because they know that things are pretty tough on the farm, mentally as well as physically.”
As well as generous sponsorship, individuals have donated various items, for example a gift of about 20 teddy bears.
Miss Menzies said the care bags covered age groups from babies to 18 years.
“We’re very much looking forward to seeing all the smiles on Thursday,” she said.
The teacher felt her family’s background had encouraged support for their cause.
“I grew up on the farm, of course, and Mum and Dad are still there, so people can see that we had experienced it and know what they’re going through,” she said.
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