In the South West Slopes region of News South Wales is the small town of Batlow, home to around 1300 residents. Also home to the famous Batlow apple, it’s an important food producing region for Australia.
On 4 January, the Batlow community was devastated by the Dunn’s Road Fire, which ripped through the region destroying over 20 homes, apple orchards, thousands of animals and a large amount of agricultural and horticultural infrastructure. While fighting the fires, one man also sadly lost his life.
While the extent of the damage is still being assessed, and the active fire still has potential to impact the area further, Batlow Cider Co have started a localised fundraising campaign to support the town.
The GoFundMe page was started today by the company with the goal of $250,000 and proceeds will go to the Batlow Branch of the Country Women’s Association (CWA). The CWA will distribute all funds without administration costs, in a way that will benefit those who have lost their homes or been severely affected by the fires.
Sam Coombes from Batlow Cider told TheShout that despite not knowing the damage to their own business yet, their priority was to help the local community.
“We’re still uncertain about the damage to the apple crops and our apple supply but expect to be significantly impacted,” Coombes said.
“Our immediate priority is helping those deeply affected get the support they need.”
Batlow Cider have been providing updates about the conditions in Batlow via their Instagram page. After their first post about the fire, they wrote that they have been overwhelmed with support, and said: “Despite the catastrophic events there is an immense sense of community and willingness to help in any shape or form in true Batlow spirit.”
On top of the GoFundMe campaign, Batlow Cider is working on other initiatives that will help the Batlow community.
One of these initiatives has already been described on their Instagram: “Batlow Cider will be donating 50 Kegs as ‘Karma Kegs’ to wholesale customers to assist with the fundraising, so if you have a liquor licence and want to help us, please DM us or contact your Batlow Cider rep.”
You can find the Rebuild Batlow GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rebuild-batlow
Keep up to date with other ways you can help the Batlow community by following Batlow Cider on Instagram @batlowcider
Here at TheShout we all have our hearts and minds with those that have been affected by the bushfires around the country. If you have any fundraising efforts happening, let us know so we can help get the word out – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org