Angels praise Aussie generosity
THE Drought Angels have touched down after their Sydney trip - three days of attention from both the media and Aussie stars.
It's a lot for the ladies to take in on top of an incredible couple of weeks, and now they've had the chance to reflect on their experience.
A highlight of the trip was the "Dollars for Dust” fundraiser, organised by Home and Away make-up artist Sherri Meissner, which saw Angels Tash Johnston and Jenny Gailey rubbing shoulders with the stars.
"It was just amazing,” Mrs Gailey said.
"We didn't stick to each other but we were very, very self conscious that we were in a room of people that were used to being in the public eye.”
And as they received the dummy cheque of $50,000 (an initial count of the funds raised on the night) Mrs Gailey said it was incredible to find people asked her for a photo.
"These people were coming up to us and asking for a photo with us, like, 'but I'm just Jenny' and 'we're just Drought Angels'.
"It's our wedding day all over again, you're being treated like a star.”
For both Mrs Johnston and Mrs Gailey, it was particularly special to see their guest speakers for the night, NSW farmers Donna Ditchfield and Tallah Looten, receive so much interest and attention.
"I looked over at one point and you could see her (Donna's) face in between some shoulders,” Mrs Gailey said.
"And this smile was just radiating, and the eyes, she was so happy.”
The night was a grand finale to what Mrs Johnston described as an incredibly rewarding weekend.
"It was special, I guess four-and-a-half years of trying to get the message out there that rural Australia and our farmers need our city people to take note of how important they are, it's finally paid off, the message is getting out there,” she said.
She's not wrong. In the past few weeks the Drought Angels have raised more than a $1 million in donations and fundraising.
It's an astounding number for a charity who were only weeks ago figuring out how they'd pay their electricity bill.
"I'm actually really excited,” Mrs Gailey said.
"We would never dream of saying the word 'million' and 'Drought Angels' in the same sentence. In the short time I've been joined to DA we've always been 'it's the hard slog ever day, every dollar is a battle and a fight to get'.”
Mrs Johnston explained the attention has meant sponsors have also come forward to provide extra support.
"We've been knocking on doors and been turned away forever, (being asked) 'who are you, what do you do, never heard of you, don't know you, no,' whereas now people I think are starting to hear about us and know how passionate we are about what we do, that people are wanting to come on board with us and share our passion for our farmers and let them know that people care about them,” she said.