The Why Leave Town gift card launched last year by the Tenterfield Chamber of Tourism, Industry and Business has really carved a niche as a great way to help local farmers and businesses.
Sullivan’s Newsagency’s Trish Parker was contacted some weeks ago by two women who would be passing through town and wanted to organise a couple of gift cards to leave for drought-affected locals.
By the time news of their endeavour spread around their families and work colleagues (one works for the Cancer Council, the other in the cancer ward) their contribution to the Tenterfield community came to 30 gift cards from the newsagency plus another 15 from the Visitor Information Centre, each loaded with $50 and all to spend at local outlets.
Mrs Parker said the ladies were coy in attracting any attention to their efforts (hence no surnames), but she considered it important for locals to appreciate how our city cousins are aware of the effects of drought, and their willingness to help out.
The duo left gift cards with local stock agents and relief organisations to distribute to those in need. When Mrs Parker told the women of how some of her customers have been forced to cancel their subscription for a monthly magazine or rural newspaper, several cards were also left were her to help out in that aspect.
“They did their research before they came,” Mrs Parker said. “They said they could have raised money for the Salvos or Red Cross, but weren’t sure where it would end up. They were keen for the money to stay local, and for the town to get the benefit.”
The women put no restrictions on how the money should be spent, appreciating that just a night out could be the break someone needs.
“They said they got stress relief from their holiday, and on their road trip they could see how bad it was here,” Mrs Parker said.
The gift cards are also turning up in rural letter boxes, along with the makings for ‘smoko’.
“They said biscuits and tea are the little luxuries that are the first to go when times are hard, and they wanted people to have smoko on them,” Mrs Parker said.