Coasties Drought Aid deliver support for the shire

In December almost 100 vehicles left the Central Coast loaded with personalised hampers, water and children's presents to help drought-stricken families out west.

The Coasties Drought Aid was established by Melissa Turner 18 months ago to help and support rural communities in NSW effected by the drought and more recently bush fires.

Discussing the initiative on their local radio, their Facebook members grew from 700 to 4500 in just weeks.

Helping coordinate the drive was Katie Vangelder from the Central Coast and Susan Bradley from Narromine.

Ms Vangelder said her father's side come from Narromine and Trangie and mother's side are based in Nyngan and the pair began making contact with local organisations and church groups in the communities.

"Our hampers are done differently to general Christmas hampers, our focus is on tailoring it to the recipient and making it more personal," she said.


"We do this by working closely with contacts in these areas by obtaining first names and approximate ages of the adults and children."

"Once we have a list, a family or group from the central coast will put their hand up and select a family they would like to put a hamper together for."

Ms Vangelder said they encouraged people to purchase pre-paid visas so people can spend within the community, and for an added personal touch people put letters of support and some information about who they are.

The convoy arrived at the Community Skills Project Inc. in Narromine on December 7, delivering 128 hampers for Narromine and Trangie.

"We were greeted with many smiling faces," Ms Vangelder said.

Refreshments and cakes were shared and they were presented with a handmade card and bush bouquet made by Suzie Rae.

Ms Vangelder thanked the people who donated, and helped coordinate the drop off in Narromine including Sharon Milnes and Ann Louise Stonestreet from Communities Skills for all their help and support.

"A huge thank you also to Father Manoj Manuel, Ted and Mitty Davies and Jan Colmer from the Catholic Church and Trevor from the Baptist Church for all your help," she said.

"It wouldn't have happened without you all."

Ms Vangelder said the Coasties Drought Drive team were in awe of how the coast and the country have worked together, and said they would continue to support the drought-affected families in the central west for as long as the need is there.

"Hopefully it reduces some of the financial stress to rural communities, as well as generate much needed income for local businesses at the same time," she said.

"We have received some beautiful emails and a video of the children to say thanks."

For more visit the Coasites Drought Drive Facebook.