The online charity GIVIT has distributed more than $40,000 across the Armidale region in the last six months.
Drought Relief Officer, Melissa Bowman, visited Armidale on Friday to meet with local not-for-profit organisations, and to purchase items from local stores that were needed by the community.
"In the past 6 months, GIVIT has helped with purchasing over $40,000 worth of items needed within the Armidale community," Ms Bowman said.
"All purchases have been made locally, which is important to GIVIT as it likes to support the regional businesses and keep the money within the local economy."
GIVIT has been able to assist with the donations of washing machines, generators, tanks, pumps, dog kennels, lounge suites, printers, a water bubbler and vouchers for fuel, groceries, pharmacy, butcher, newsagent, clothing, rural supplies and haircuts. And all items were purchased locally in Armidale, Walcha and Uralla.
The following organisations in the Armidale community are registered with GIVIT, and Ms Bowman said it would like to encourage more to do so to get a wider spread of goods to those in need.
So far Armidale Family Support Services, Armidale Neighbourhood Centre, RAMPH, Rural Financial Counselling Service, Centacare, Can Assist, Armidale Regional Council, Pathfinders, Southern New England Landcare, Werris Creek CWA, Chandler Public School, Drummond Memorial Public School and Homeless No More have all signed up and benefited from the unique donation distribution model.
Ms Bowman has worked closely with dozens of charities and community groups across New England in 2020 and said there were a couple of donation stories that stood out during that time.
"A farmer from Nyngan couldn't afford to fix the clutch in his ute, so was having to get lifts into town," she said.
"We were able to pay for the new clutch for him. He thought he'd won the lotto!"
Then there was a family in Walcha who wanted help for their four-legged friends after the deadly summer fires.
"We purchased dog kennels for a family near Walcha on a farm who have been suffering from a drought for years, and then lost their home in last summer's bushfires," she said.
"They were more worried about their dogs than themselves."
The founder of GIVIT, Juliette Wright, was also in Armidale on Friday and she met with Susan Manttan from Armidale Family Support Services and the Armidale Regional Council recovery officer Tom Bower.
Ms Wright was in town to discuss the issues still facing the region, how GIVIT has been able to help to date, and what was still needed. She is familiar with the region as her family has a farm in Ebor.
Two years after launching its appeal to support NSW communities gripped by Australia's most severe drought in living memory, online charity GIVIT has coordinated more than $650,000 in donations.
Since September 2018 GIVIT's drought appeal has spent 100 per cent of donated funds with businesses and suppliers in drought-affected areas. More than 800 items have been provided for charities across the state, and the online charity has directly supported at least 12,000 regional families and individuals.
"GIVIT makes sure people get what they need when they need it most - whether recovering from a disaster event, or experiencing hardship due to circumstances such as drought, domestic and family violence, homelessness, disability and mental health," said Ms Wright.
"Our online charity model coordinates all offers of goods, funds, volunteering and services online, removing the burden on organisations to collect, sort, store and dispose of donations they don't need."
The Duchess of Cornwall became the patron of GIVIT in June and said it was an incredible idea.
"I don't know why no one has thought of it before because it is a really inspirational idea," she said on a webinar to meet the GIVIT team.
All donated funds GIVIT receives are used to purchase items for people in need.
To donate or for more information about GIVIT's Drought Relief Appeal click here.