There were ear-to-ear grins, toys, and a tonne of fun as Burumbuttock Hay Runners chief Brendan Farrell trundled into tiny outback towns on his first official toy run. In fact, the normally gruff "Bumpa" admitted he was feeling pretty smiley himself witnessing the delight on the faces of children and adults alike at the sight of pub verandahs, roadhouses and halls overflowing with toys. "It was just like the Myer clearance sales," he laughed as he spoke to The Border Mail from Packsaddle on Friday, September 4. "The kids are loving it." Joined by a couple of BHR stalwarts in Brett Lieschke and Thomas Armstrong, Mr Farrell last week embarked on a seven-day trip to outback towns including Louth, Tilpa, White Cliffs, Packsaddle and Tibooburra. He swapped his usual trailer loads of hay for Lego, Barbies, trucks, tennis racquets and school supplies on a goodwill mission to remind country folk they haven't been forgotten. Mr Farrell, who was hoping to share donated goodies with up to 150 outback kids, said it was proving to be a really worthwhile and rewarding trip. "We've been having a ball," he admitted. "It's just fantastic to get back out in the outback and connect with these people." He's been setting up "shop" in the towns wherever there's a bit of room, including the front verandah of the Tilpa pub, and "letting the kids roam". "We tell them they can have five good toys and two lucky dips," he explained of the giving process. "They've been absolutely amazed that they could choose five toys and there have been no fights at all." The father of three said his own children were "as proud as punch" of their dad's mission to support other kids between the ages of 0-14 years. But, as always, these trips are about so much more than toys or hay. "A lot of this is about the mental health component," he said. "I've been catching up with the parents but also locals (who don't have kids) have been coming in to town to have a chat and a beer with us. "Some farms around here are still as dry as buggery; some have had rain and a reprieve." Mr Farrell previously told The Border Mail, it was important to remember people were still struggling as a result of drought or bushfires. "Farming still goes on despite what is happening with coronavirus," he said. "A lot of people are in financial trouble; they've bought in feed for the last seven years and it's put them in debt something fierce." But just for a moment, worries were forgotten in the joy of seeing the faces of the children light up with delight.