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Centacare employees filled two buses and a trailer with water for desperate Stanthorpe residents

Water delivery: Nicole Morgan with south-west general manager Richard Kreft and Sheryn Bannon, from Granite Belt Drought Assist.

NICOLE Morgan read a news story about Stanthorpe’s water threat, which reported the town’s dam was nearing five per cent capacity and the situation was getting “pretty dire”.

It sparked a call to action for Ms Morgan.

Ms Morgan, who works for Centacare as a business development manager, thought to herself, “You know, we have 1700 staff at Centacare, if just half of those people donated one of those 40-litre bottles, that would have a massive impact on the town”.

She took the idea to her executive director and it was approved.

The call went out and, after about two months collecting water, two fleet buses and a trailer went out to deliver the water to Stanthorpe residents on October 17.

While there, Ms Morgan met with Sheryn Bannon, from the Granite Belt Drought Assist, and saw just how dire the need was.

Five families pulled up and, using a ticketing system, were able to collect their week’s allocation of water. 

Ms Morgan said the “scariest thing about it” was it had taken two months to pull together all the water, and it was being collected in a matter of minutes. 

It showed the need.

Ms Morgan said she was proud of the way Centacare and the Church pulled together behind the water drive, particularly those on low wages.

“The people didn’t think twice about what they’re contributing,” she said.

“A lot of people are very, very quick to talk about the negativity going on with the Church, but these are opportunities; this is what the Catholic Church was all about.”

Ms Morgan said the staff at Centacare, many of whom are Catholic, were quick to jump on board because “they genuinely want to help”.

“I think we need to get that out there more,” she said.

“Centacare have just been amazing at saying, ‘Look, you do whatever you need to do to help this town regardless of servicing them or not,’ – because we don’t service in that area.”

Ms Morgan sent out her special thanks to Richard Kreft, a Centacare general manager for the south-west region, who drove one of the buses and lifted “probably a thousand litres of water”. 

While there is still no clear answer as to what will happen with Stanthorpe and Warwick’s needs, many organisations are pulling together in solidarity. 

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