Irrawang High School is seeking donations for its Christmas giving tree for drought-affected farmers

GIVING: Irrawang High School's recently elected captains Sierra Noffke and Nick Hopper, both aged 16, with the Christmas giving tree.
GIVING: Irrawang High School's recently elected captains Sierra Noffke and Nick Hopper, both aged 16, with the Christmas giving tree.

Last year, Irrawang High School donated more than $8000 in cash and about 50 large boxes of products to desperate farmers being impacted by the devastating drought.

With Port Stephens and Hunter farmers facing yet another bleak Christmas, the Raymond Terrace school community has again partnered with Rural Aid to offer support during this special time of the year.

"We were advised by Rural Aid that our friends in the bush would really appreciate personal care items for men, women and children and babies such as shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary items, moisturisers, sun block and similar items,"the school's community liaison officer Lue Fagan said.

"So we have established our Christmas giving tree in the school entrance foyer and are inviting our generous school community to make as many donations as possible.

"Many of these items - considered to be a luxury to many farming families - will be distributed throughout the Upper Hunter region around Murrurundi. It is the least we can do as a school community to support our farmers."

The Murrurundi community is on level-six water restrictions.

Newly elected school captains Sierra Noffke and Nick Hopper say the discussion among students in the playground in never far from the plight of farmers and the devastating effects of drought.

Irrawang High School captains Sierra Noffke and Nick Hopper, both 16, display some of the personal items to be distributed to drought-stricken farmers.

Irrawang High School captains Sierra Noffke and Nick Hopper, both 16, display some of the personal items to be distributed to drought-stricken farmers.

"It is very sad situation and we want to do anything we can to show the farmers that we care and support them in these tough times," said 16-year-old Sierra.

"I have family friends who living on the farm in Queensland and they are struggling ... they have had to sell some of their animals and find other ways to support their families.

"I'm glad we as a school can do something to ease the pain form some of these families over Christmas."

Nick, also aged 16, said that the Christmas giving tree was just one way the Raymond Terrace community could offer its support.

"There are forecasts for a dry summer, our dam levels are low and we are facing level two water restrictions. Maybe it's time the governments looked at better ways to farm products like rice and cotton which are heavy water users."

The school is accepting donations until December 10.

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