After the birth of her second child, Felicity Abell picked up a life coaching book and stared at the questions about where she hoped to be three years from then. She realised she would be turning forty but had no idea where she would be or what her life purpose was. She put the book away leaving the questions unanswered. While she knew her life had a bigger purpose, it took her awhile to formulate a plan.
Witnessing the devastation faced by so many farmers and people living in small towns during 2020 due to drought, bushfires, shutdowns caused by Covid-19 and floods, Felicity discussed her idea with two women – one a successful Not-For-Profit Founder and the other a farmer. Although she had never met these women in real life, they were more than happy to consult with her. After months of planning, Felicity founded The Bush Bundle.
Using donated complimentary items, Felicity bundles them into shoeboxes and sends them to individuals and families living in bush towns. The purpose of The Bush Bundle is to reach as many Australian Farmers, Farm Help or rural town folk as possible to gift them a few items that they may have wanted to buy at a shop but just couldn’t because of budget constraints.
“Sometimes it could even be that their local shop doesn’t stock certain items so they couldn’t buy it even if they somehow could justify the spend,” Felicity explains, “and these ‘complimentary items’ are not superficial and glitzy. They are consumables that I could pick up in the suburbs for a few dollars and do so without even thinking about it. Flavoured tea tags and coffee satchels, hand creams for after a hard day, lip balm to help in blistering heat
or freezing winds, a new face washer, a handmade hand towel for the kitchen, a pair of hand knitted bed socks to walk the cold wooden floors at night in winter, chocolates and lollies.”
Even the packaging of a shoebox is understated and made from recyclable materials which is an important factor for The Bush Bundle. Even their stickers used on the bundles are recycling.
“We’re all about reduce, recycle and reuse. Farmers generally don’t like waste, and many have no use for fancy packaging.”
With a shared love of travelling to rural areas with her husband, they enjoy hand delivering packages and learning from the Farmers they meet. Witnessing the devastation of the drought while travelling Queensland over the past few years, Felicity asked a group of Australian Farmers a question, essentially looking to validate her concept. The question she posed was, “When was the last time you bought something you wanted as opposed to
something you needed?”
The overwhelming response was, “I can’t remember.”
Although born in a small town, Felicity and her family moved to Brisbane when she was young but she has always had a love of the country and enjoys visiting family and friends in the bush. When she was growing up, Felicity’s Aunty owned a farm in Clifton, Queensland.
“Their land was huge, there were many animals but I was fascinated by their home. The external paint was flaking, the interior was hot and cramped. My dad told me that all their money went back into their farm. Their house was simply a roof over their head to sleep in.”
Felicity’s reverence and respect for the Farmers she meets is so apparent.
“Farmers don’t stop. They don’t get days off and they are living through drought, fires and floods. They are amazingly resilient. They learn fast, they are crafty, they love the land and their hard work feeds us and clothes us. When I am travelling along the long, open rural roads I often look at the scenery and am amazed of its beauty, and its harshness.”
Recently The Bush Bundle partnered with Queensland Drought Runners, a group of volunteers who travel to more remote places, and are happy to deliver some of Felicity’s bundles. Felicity also places the bundles with the Country Women’s Association who can deliver the bundles to families that need them.
“If I can deliver a Bundle of goods to the Bush and put a smile on a hard-working Farmer’s face or one of their Farm Helpers, or a remote rural neighbour, even for one minute then it’s worth it,” Felicity smiles, “To let them know that someone admires and appreciates their work and to reach out for care and connection, I will continue working and building The Bush Bundle.”
If you would like to know more about The Bush Bundle, or to donate or send a Bush Bundle to a Farmer, please visit the website