Shoeboxes wrapped with newspaper and a whole lot of love are steadily mounting up in a Holbrook lounge room.
In the past 10 days, close to 150 boxes filled with pamper items for rural women have been donated from this region for the Ladies of the Land NSW project.
Holbrook sisters Marylou and Rachel Hodges offered to act as the local collection point for the initiative started by two women at Orange, NSW, less than a month ago.
Marylou said the response in this area to support drought-stricken women had been "extraordinary".
Together with their cousin Lesa Hallisy (who is providing an Albury drop-off point), the sisters are being flooded with donations from kind-hearted local women and even strangers passing through the Border who want to help.
"People are donating all over the place," Marylou said on Tuesday.
"We are so overwhelmed and touched by the support for this initiative, mainly by women.
"They have said to us they were wanting to do something to support women struggling on the land but just didn't know what to do."
Marylou said "random strangers" had even dropped off the boxes of goodies to St Matthew's Church at Albury after reading the article in The Border Mail.
The generosity has flowed from the Border, Wangaratta, Henty and Talmalmo areas and further beyond.
Marylou said she'd had received calls from elderly women to say they couldn't afford to buy anything but did she need any shoeboxes.
"And let me tell you they are quite the commodity," she laughed.
Lesa, who has at least 20 shoeboxes sitting in her lounge room, said they had also received 900 vouchers from isubscribe and 50 magazines; she is still to do a pick-up from Henty and Wangaratta so the gifts - and goodwill - are definitely piling up.
Ladies of the Land NSW creator Elzette Connan, who lives with her husband and their two children on a 3000-acre property near Cumnock, is aiming to collect 1000 boxes a week until December 10.
"We can't make it rain, but we can share some love with people who so often put others ahead of themselves," Elzette posted on their Facebook page this week.
She had previously told The Border Mail the original hope was to collect 100 boxes!
"We have had to develop a whole new mindset as people across the country from Tasmania to Western Australia have answered the call," she said.
Marylou and Rachel said they were moved to help their fellow sisters on the land and will deliver a ute, float or maybe even a truckload (fingers crossed) to Orange by December 7.
There is still plenty of time for people to get on board the project which asks for people to fill a shoebox with special, non-perishable pamper items, wrap it in plain newspaper with a note inside and drop it off at a collection point.
Ideas include a scarf, tea bags, toiletries, a candle, chocolates, small arts and crafts project, vouchers, gift cards, crosswords or jewellery.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Filled shoeboxes (or other donations) can be dropped off at 693 Forrest Hill Drive, Albury or 73 Bolwer Street, Holbrook.
- For more information or to arrange pick-up call Marylou on 0408 401 210.
- For further details about Ladies of the Land NSW, call Elzette on 0417 255 522 or for a full list of drop-off points Australia wide go to their Facebook page.