Project hosts floored by viewer reaction
A drought-affected farming family from NSW finally have a reason to smile again thanks to The Project viewers.
The Jerry family, who run a wool and cattle property near Coonabarabran in central NSW, were featured in a story on Sunday night's episode which detailed their struggle to survive as they enter the third year of a drought.
The moving story was presented by The Project's Hamish Macdonald who visited the farm and spoke to the family who are at breaking point.
"Mentally and the stress of it, it's just, I'm not sleeping properly at night, waking up and trying to work out a way to get through," Greg Jerry told Macdonald.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Jerrys so far, and thanks to @hamishNews for continuing to cover such an important story . These Aussie's doing it tough are the pinnacle of resilience.— The Project (@theprojecttv) August 18, 2019
To donate please head to: https://t.co/NPhhnc4srU pic.twitter.com/j6f1zDWaA8
The family are paying $12,000 a month just to keep their animals alive, but as the drought drags on, the Jerry's don't think they can last much longer.
After airing the story, Macdonald told viewers that the Jerry family were thrilled that the drought was covered heavily in the media last year, but they now feel like they've been forgotten.
"They said, 'We feel like everyone looked at us for a week, maybe a month, and then they forgot and just moved on with their lives,'" Macdonald said. "The journalists came, the politicians followed and then we all disappeared and just left them to it."
Macdonald encouraged viewers to donate to the Jerry family via a Go Fund Me page named Hungry Cobber Drought Relief.
Before the end of the show, Macdonald was visibly stunned when he told viewers how much had been donated to the Jerry family since the story aired just 15 minutes earlier.
"I've got to say I'm a little bit surprised at this," Macdonald said. "Apparently the Go Fund Me page was at $2000 as that story went to air. It's now sitting just shy of $130,000!"
Less than an hour later, more than $200,000 had been raised on the page which was set up by family friends of the Jerry's, with all the money going directly to the Jerry's to cover the operating expenses of the farm.
Those who set up the page issued a statement on Sunday night thanking everyone for their donations.
"I'd like to pass on our sincerest thanks to all of you have supported us this evening. This response is overwhelming and such a huge relief. Thanks doesn't convey the depth of our appreciation.
"As well as your amazing donations, we'll never forget the messages of support below - you've made us realise that we are not as alone, even in barest of paddocks. Thankyou."