Art4Agriculuture Young Farming Champion Jess Monteith is a walking talking testament to phrase “life is what you make it”.
She was recently awarded the prestigious Shoalhaven Young Citizen of the Year Australia Day honour for her inspiring AGvocay for Agriculture and her work with the Hands Across NSW Charity
In today’s guest blog post Jess shares her work with the Hands Across NSW Charity
For 7 years I have been an ambassador for Hands Across NSW. Hands Across NSW began as a charity organisation during the severe droughts to assist farming families and their communities.
Our vision and missions statements are to
“assist the rural communities in NSW affected by the drought and any other issues by providing help with dignity and to be a dynamic organization dedicated to assist those in need as well as providing a hand of friendship in times of distress, thereby ensuring our prominence as one of the leading, friendliest, and effective charitable organizations in this field originated in the Shoalhaven”.
Over the years we received donations of financial help to support our farmers to be resilient through grants of up to $5000 per individual. We also took donations of fodder and other feed products to provide for livestock in areas severely affected.
In 2009 we received a massive donation from the Bonds factory which supplied 30 different families with new underwear. Something we may take for granted, yet something so important as some of the women in remote communities could not afford new underwear and were too embarrassed to even visit a Dr because of the state of their underwear.
Between 2007 and 2012 we used donations from local communities to provide children with Christmas presents. It was so rewarding to see the looks on their faces
Hands Across continues to provide financial support to those in need through monitoring progress. This is essential as it indicates the degree of help that needs be provided in the future as well as monitoring the changes in the type of help required. This means our charity is under constant review so it can deliver what farmers need on the ground as soon as thye need it
I am very excited by the next phase that ongoing donations and support has allowed us to develop a program that provides scholarships for students in my local community who face financial hardship in transferring from primary school through to high school. The scholarship program is run in conjunction with the Berry-Gerringong Rotary club who have also raised funds
Check out Jess’ latest video which shares her amazing journey to date
FOLLOW JESS ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/jm4589