A little luxury for the ladies of the land, with love from Port Stephens

COAST TO BUSH: Oscar Harley, 12, with mother Lauren Harley, who is behind a Port Ladies of the Land drought appeal. Donations are being accepted until December 1.
COAST TO BUSH: Oscar Harley, 12, with mother Lauren Harley, who is behind a Port Ladies of the Land drought appeal. Donations are being accepted until December 1.

Like many Port residents who have risen to the aid of drought-affected families, Lauren Harley wanted to show her support for those doing it tough in rural communities.

On delving deeper into the different drought drives and donation avenues currently being undertaken, the Corlette mother of two found one that particularly appealed to her - the Ladies of the Land initiative.

A Cumnock mother and daughter duo started Ladies of the Land in November, calling on people to donate pamper packs consisting of goodies in a shoebox for women living in drought affected areas.

"Being a mum myself I know you always put everyone else first," Mrs Harley said. "Coming up to Christmas, I think a lot of women will be making sure their families are okay, their kids get presents, and will feel a little guilty buying anything for themselves.

Lauren Harley and son Oscar, 12, packing Ladies of the Land boxes. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Lauren Harley and son Oscar, 12, packing Ladies of the Land boxes. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

"I liked the sound of this initiative. I just thought it was a bit difference from what else is being done. It's like giving a gift to your friend.

"You fill a box with things that will provide a little luxury, add a personalised note, just like you would a friend. When you give your friend a gift, it's with love. It's really showing these ladies that we care.

"It won't change the fact that there is a drought but hopefully it will make someone living through it feel a good."

Mrs Harley, originally from Dubbo, jumped on board with the initiative.

She made a Facebook post calling for donations of boxes or items to go into the boxes, which she and eldest son Oscar, 12, will personally deliver to the western NSW region in December.

The Country Women's Association will collect the boxes from drop-off zones and hand deliver them to women living in a NSW DPI map of the most drought affected communities.

"So we know the boxes will be going to where they're most needed," Mrs Harley said.

Mrs Harley said she had been "blown away" by the response to her post and had already reached her target of 50 boxes.

Anyone wishing to be part of the initiative are asked to fill a shoebox with newly purchased luxury items such as tea, books, wine, face and nail maintenance products.

Individual items are also being accepted, which Mrs Harley will use to make a complete box.

The boxes Mrs Harley will be delivering in December will also have a specially designed tag from Mason Design Co stating "packed with love from Port Stephens".

Donations are being accepted at:

  • Mrs Harley's home at 27 Nandu Boulevard, Corlette (there is a box at the front door)
  • Tomaree Community College
  • Epitome of Hair in Salamander Bay
  • Nelson Bay Fitness (by appointment on 0402 838 084) and
  • Chalk and Willow at One Mile

Donations are asked to be dropped off no later than December 1.

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