The big dry: Egan sisters donate care packages to their 'country cousins' in Narromne

RELIEF: Ruth Simmons from Rural Aid, Lesley Martin and Sharon Milnes (front) with Marilyn Bell, Gail Kapral and Ann-Louise Stonestreet (back). Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN
RELIEF: Ruth Simmons from Rural Aid, Lesley Martin and Sharon Milnes (front) with Marilyn Bell, Gail Kapral and Ann-Louise Stonestreet (back). Photo: ZAARKACHA MARLAN

Three sisters have made a trip to Narromine to help their “country cousins” by providing care packages for farming families doing it tough. 

Marilyn Bell, Lesley Martin and Gail Kapral, nee Egan, have strong ties to the town and the farming community and have returned to the central west on a trip to uncover their family history in Narromine. 

However with drought conditions gripping the state, the three sisters decided to fundraise to purchase items to create care packages for farming families in the community. 

The trio put out a call to family, friends and acquaintances raising funds via Facebook, and have purchased items to create 30 care packages, which include: food staples, water, toilet paper and personal items for men and women, to be delivered to farmers. 

As a way to give back to rural communities Mrs Bell said the items in the care packages were bought from communities they encountered along their journey. 

“We made the decision that we would not buy it in Sydney, but stop in different rural towns on the way and in Narromine, to put money back into the towns.” 

Included in the packages is a letter from the sisters explaining why they’ve done this, and have added a list of those who donated.

Mrs Bell said the packages are to show appreciation for what the rural community provides to Australia, and hopes it will bring some cheer to the bush. 

“We just wanted families to know that people in Sydney are talking about the drought out in NSW and Queensland. They are aware of what’s happening out here, and they do care.” 

“We know we’re a long way away, but this is where our food, and everything comes from. Hopefully for five minutes it puts a smile on someone’s face and lets them know that people are thinking about them.”

The 30 care parcels made by the women are being hand delivered to farming families by Rural Aid’s newly appointed rural counsellor Ruth Simmons, and will go to families registered with Buy a Bale.  

“It’s been a good team effort from both the people here in Narromine to help us get them out to where they’re needed.”