Kind-hearted Irish send $110k in donations to drought town
WHAT began with a simple GoFundMe page has grown into the delivery of more than $110,000 worth of fodder and water to Stanthorpe's Showgrounds this morning.
Kieran O'Brien, Richard and Louise Linehan, better known as the Irish trio from Brisbane, were behind the idea, with Mr O'Brien saying they wanted to do something to repay Aussies who've supported them.
"It's just getting tougher and tougher for these families out here," said Mr O'Brien.
"We just wanted to give something back to these people," he said.
Initially setting a target to raise $10,000, the final result came in at $66,000, donating and delivering 42 tonnes of fodder, 300,00 litres of non-potable water and 100,000 litres of potable water to those who need it most.
"We came up with the idea of doing a drought run and it just blew up from there," Mr Linehan said.
The trio linked up with Southern Downs Regional Council and Granite Belt Drought Assist, whose volunteers have been working tirelessly to organise the distribution of donations.
Granite Belt Drought Assist co-manager Glenda Riley said although it is nice to be appreciated, it isn't the fuel that drives herself and the countless number of volunteers at GBDA.
"We want to see people smiling and happy - that's our philosophy," Ms Riley said.
"That really is our fundamental reasoning for why we do what we do," she said.
"We don't want to be working hard every day, we are retired," Granite Belt Drought Assist co-manager Barbara Marsden said.
"But we keep doing it because of the people," she said.
Donations have been distributed from the Stanthorpe Showgrounds this morning, with more to be distributed from Granite Belt Drought Assist on Monday.
The Irish trio have hopes to organise another drought run in the New Year.
"We were lucky enough to come over to this country so we just wanted to give something back.
"I'm sure there will be a lot of people who will come on board again," Mr O'Brien said.