Hardi particularly loves to help support causes championed by our residents.
So when Penrith resident, Simon Patterson, saw on the news that ten year old schoolboy, Jack Berne, had come up with the idea of “A Fiver for a Farmer” to aid drought relief and asked if we could get on board? there was no question! Jack was learning about the drought at his Sydney primary school and was shocked to find out that country kids his age were skipping school to help out on their drought-stricken farms.
He wanted to help, so with his mates, on 13 August they decided to dress up as farmers at school and bring in a five dollar note to give to Rural Aid and Drought Angels. Jack’s idea raised $20,000 in 48 hours and by mid August, the funds raised had already risen to over $300,000.
Thanks to Simon’s enthusiasm for Jack’s idea, Mountainview residents and staff got dressed up too and each tipped in their own fiver. They decided they could collect non-perishable food donations for farmers as well to help. Other Hardi facilities then joined in to help raise over $1,000 for “A Fiver for a Farmer”, thanks to Simon. The food donations collected were taken to a Bathurst collection point in September, by Hardi staff.
We ended up with car load! When asked why this particular cause meant so much to him, Simon’s response was heartfelt. “Do YOU know what it’s like to wake up in the morning, when it’s so dry on the land like this? To constantly breathe in the dust and to always have dusty hands? To head outside to a barren farm, where all the stock immediately look your way, calling hungrily for food?” he said. “The paddocks are dust; the dams are muddy and empty. Kids go off to school knowing they are coming back to help hand feed stock. Mum washes the dishes sparingly in water and goes out to help. Dad is moving the stock to look for food, but he can only despairingly cut down tree branches for feed. Banks are pestering for money they do not have… “When will the rain come? When will the stock be fed properly? When can we rebuild our stock levels? All questions that nobody knows the answer for… Do YOU really know? Because I do!” said Simon. Simon knows how this feels, because he has been in this situation as a young man.
He says “C’mon Australia, give ‘em a break – we’re all mates!”