Leigh Watson is no stranger to helping others in need but her focus, which is usually on helping women and children in Vanuatu, is now on struggling communities much closer to home.
The Corlette mother-of-two has jumped on board The Little Juddies' Christmas Drought Run, established by Mick and Bianca Judd, and is now collecting items in Port Stephens to help the hundreds of NSW farming families doing it tough because of the worsening drought.
"I've seen so many people say they want to do something to help. Well, now they can," Ms Watson said.
"Just because we don't hear about the drought doesn't meant it has gone away. In fact, it has gotten a lot worse.
"Farmers give us Christmas every year. They work to put food on our tables. Lets show them that we do care."
Ms Watson is coordinating the collection of drought run donations in the Bay area.
In the past three years, The Little Juddies have trucked more than 200 tonnes of food and supplies from the Hunter to drought-affected areas in NSW and Queensland.
The Judds hope to take one semi-trailer load of food, supplies, new toys and Christmas presents to Baradine and Bingara just before Christmas to provide some relief to more than 270 families doing it tough.
Donations made to the appeal that Ms Watson is coordinating will be delivered to these two western NSW towns.
Donations of non-perishable food including pizza and pasta sauces, canned fruit and vegetables, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, Milo, dried fruit and nuts plus 10 litre water cartridges, cooking oil, spreads, sanitary and other personal hygiene items, sunscreen (50+ SPF), mosquito repellent, dog and cat food and baby wipes are being sought to send to the drought-stricken communities.
The appeal is also calling for pre-paid Visa/Eftpos or IGA gift cards, basic first aid supplies and new toys and items for suitable Christmas gifts. Gift items are asked to be unwrapped so they can be paired with suitable families.
Residents wishing to donate to the appeal can drop off their items at Advanced Finance Solutions - 10 Shearwater Drive, Taylors Beach - Monday to Friday during work hours.
Ms Watson and Advanced Finance Solutions owner Anita Marshall are long-time friends and the pair, along with Jenny Mills, Mandi Bryson and Donna Campton, have for the past five years coordinated the collection and donation of bras, school supplies and other items to communities in Vanuatu.
Donations are asked to be made by Friday, November 22. This is when the semi-trailer will collect the donations from Taylors Beach.
"Every little bit you can do will help," Ms Leigh said.
Ms Watson said she is happy to collect items from those who are unable to drop them off in Taylors Beach. Phone Ms Watson on 0416 290 772.
See where your donations go. Follow The Little Juddies on Facebook.
Port Stephens drought run drop off points
- IGA Clarence Town, 47 Grey St, Clarence Town NSW 2321
- Jason Becker Concreting, Medowie, C/- Katrina Lewis Becker BY APPT ONLY, Ph or SMS: 0409713773
- Century 21 Curtis and Blair, 1/37a Ferodale Road, Medowie NSW 2318
- Sawers and Levonpera, 2/11 William Street, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324
- NRMA RAYMOND TERRACE, 38 William Street, Raymond Terrace 2324
- NRMA SALAMANDER BAY, Shop 3, 5 Bagnall Beach Road, Salamander Bay 2317
- Advanced Finance Solutions, 1/10 Shearwater Drive, Taylors Beach NSW 2316
- All Purpose Self Storage, 1 Foresight Ave, Tomago NSW 2322