By CHRISTINE LANGDON - First of all, to everyone impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, our hearts go out to you. Our words cannot express how much.
For many of us on the sidelines, it can feel like our actions don’t speak loudly enough either at the moment. It’s hard to know where to start.
So we’ve been thinking, and came up with some simple things to consider if you, like us, have been feeling stuck or are wanting to do more:
If you want to give, give cash: The incredible donations of goods for communities impacted by the weather is heartwarming, particularly so early in the crisis. However, cash is most valuable - and will become more so over time. Cash is easier to match up with needs (and communities/individuals being able to exercise choice over what is most important for them). So consider donating cash - there is a huge need for public donations given the scale of the impact.
Don’t overthink it: A common question is "who is best to give to". Don't overthink it - there are heaps of ways to give and lots of reliable options. If you have connections into the affected communities, you may know a trusted community group, marae, or even a business that's doing great work to pass on funding to the families that need it. Or, this Radio New Zealand article has a list of options to donate through, with links right down into specific communities.
Use your spending power to help: Support businesses in the affected regions that are still able to trade, or consider pre-ordering and pre-paying for when affected businesses are back on their feet. Many businesses and events are now donating profits to the recovery efforts - support them if you can.
Commit to making climate-friendly choices: This disaster has been caused by climate change, and there is a risk that the ecological damage and major rebuilding required could significantly set-back our national emissions reductions. So be part of the solution by making climate friendly choices like buying less, buying local, and buying sustainably-made products.
Another couple of ways to use your spending power to help (and here's where The Good Registry might come in):
- We will all have a birthday this year. For your birthday, consider giving instead of receiving. By setting up a Good Registry, you could raise funds for a charity that is supporting people in affected areas, like St John Ambulance, Salvation Army, Auckland City Mission, or Lifeline, or for an animal/wildlife rescue charity like SPCA or BirdCare Aotearoa.
- If you have gifts to give, consider giving your friends and family (or colleagues, or clients) the opportunity to support charities they care about instead of giving them stuff, with our Good Gift Cards.
- The awesome people at We Love Local have created a Cyclone Donation Care Package gift pack filled with products from companies that cannot trade and will be unable to visit farmers' markets for many weeks. As well as supporting affected businesses, they are donating 100% of the profits to charities involved in the response and recovery via The Good Registry.
If you have other thoughts or suggestions, please get in touch - we'll be very happy to share them on our social media and/ or on our blog. Like everyone, we want to help in any way we can.