Hartley Vale’s Matt Pilarcik has returned from his road trip to Albury on the weekend, which he decided to use as a drought run for farmers packing a small bus and trailer with fifty bales of hay, groceries and animal feed.
After dropping off items to families near Forbes on his way home, Mr Pilarcik has decided to head out towards Parkes on Friday to deliver the left over supplies.
“I still have some of the produce donated and I have more to pick up, so I’ll be doing more drop-offs,” he said.
“This Friday I’ll be heading out to Parkes and Tottenham.”
Mr Pilarcik said that on his drive out to Albury he wasn’t able to find anyone at home, and townsfolk told him “to keep going”.
On his way back to Lithgow, a few detours and some intelligence gathering at road stops helped him find two families in need of supplies.
“I was heading down Eugowra Road and came across a dairy farm about 10 kilometres east of Forbes,” Mr Pilarcik said.
There he met Andrew Kath, with his two younger children Imogen and Preston. Andrew and his wife Cassandra operate an award-winning dairy farm with 400 cattle.
“They were saying they bought into the dairy farm four years ago and they have had two good years and two shockers,” Mr Pilarcik said.
“Because they are still trying to get milk out of the cows, Andrew was saying he didn’t know if he could maintain them.”
The family took 12 bales of hay, a lick block and some dog food.
“My daughter had made a trinket box and a card. So I gave that to the kids.
“It was so good.”
Further on, ten kilometres west of Eugowra, Matt Pilarcik heard about another couple who could do with some support, and asked them to meet him.
“I met them on the main road, it was an older fellow Richard Kingston and Alison his wife. They run a merino sheep property.”
He said the couple were similarly questioning whether they could hold onto their stock.
“They’ve got so much pride,” Mr Pilarcik said.
“I was trying to get them to take the whole thing but Richard was saying ‘no, no, no I just want a few bales’.”
They took a lick block, 18 bales of hay, and a bag of dog food.
“He said it would fatten the lambs a little and keep them alive.”
The Hartley Vale man said the response to his efforts had been “unbelievable and overwhelming”.
Pilarcik has received donated goods from local businesses and families, and Enhance Petrol Station has offered to provide fuel for future runs.
“Matt’s a customer of mine and he does pop in from time to time. So when I saw him on the front of the paper, I quickly identified him – it just made it that bit nicer,” owner of Enhance Peter Sleiman said.
“I really respect what Matt’s doing, and I thought I could help him out by giving him a donation, but since I run a petrol station, I thought if I could get him there and back then let’s do that.”
Mr Pilarcik said he was excited that offers to help out farmers had sprung up around town.
“I don’t want any stars and stripes,” he said.
You can donate goods to Mr Pilarcik’s drought run by calling 0467 227 216 or by purchasing goods for donation at Adam’s Shed in Hartley.