Rachael Bhadury is one of the thousands of New Zealanders who will celebrate a birthday in lockdown this month. The last thing she wanted was the anxiety of more stuff in the house. And top of her wish-list: a way to help families still trying to leave Afghanistan.
One of many New Zealanders celebrating with charity donation gifts in lockdown, Rachael shares her story ...
We don’t really do birthday presents in my family. Maybe for the youngest in our whānau, but it can be a bit more sporadic with us older ones. Sometimes instead of a gift we might take each other out for lunch, or buy a cake or some treats to enjoy together. This year though, we are very likely to be video calling on my birthday, with New Zealand highly likely to be in some form of lockdown.
I’ve recently found out about The Good Registry, and I love what it stands for. It combines a few of the things that mean a lot to me - helping people and communities, spreading kindness, and cutting down on waste. The past few months I’ve donated a whole heap of things to the Salvation Army - it felt so good doing a clear out and also giving quality items that others would enjoy. But with my birthday looming, the thought of even one more thing in my house sparks a bit of anxiety.
There are so many people in our world right now who could desperately use the money that my mum may have spent on lunch for me, or my sister may have used to buy me some goodies. One place in particular that has been so in my thoughts lately is Afghanistan.
Right now, the Auckland Refugee Family Trust (ARFT) are trying to help reunite a number of families who are stuck in Afghanistan. Most of these people are women and children who may have their husbands or relatives in New Zealand. One of the heart-breaking things is they have visas but they don’t have the money for the very expensive flights or ways to get out of the country. The ARFT are doing what they can to financially support these families.
So this year, I’ve asked my family if they want to give me something or they thought they might take me out for a cuppa or lunch - then instead, I’d love it if they could give that money to the ARFT. It was a bit awkward to ask - but I quickly got over myself because there’s a bigger picture here right?! And also there’s absolutely no pressure on my family - if they want to, they can, and if they don’t - then all good! Even if a couple of dollars is gifted, then that’s a couple of dollars more. Also, maybe it’ll inspire someone next year to do the same thing for their birthday?
We are so incredibly lucky to live in New Zealand, and The Good Registry allows us to use that luck to help pay it forward.
If you want to set up a registry for your birthday or wedding (or just because) then it’s super easy to do so. Follow the steps at Create a Registry and choose from the 65 NZ charities for the money to go to.
What’s better than spreading kindness while also helping our planet? A pretty good birthday present if you ask me.
If you want to support the ARFT you can also support this registry by two of The Good Registry's crew, Ainsley Harris and Courtney Ellingham Prebble.