At The Good Registry we’ve been reflecting on the past nine weeks, and in particular, what we have learnt in lockdown. It’s said that the most challenging times bring us the most empowering lessons, and we couldn’t agree more.
We feel proud to be part of a country that chose to put its people first, and through a collective effort, New Zealand is working to become the first country in the world to successfully eliminate Covid-19. By staying home we’re saving lives, and as we head further into Alert Level 2, we have a chance to reset and rethink our future.
So what empowering lessons has Covid-19 taught us?
One of the most critical things we’ve seen is that time holds a different value for people now. If there’s anything that lockdown has taught us, it’s to be grateful of our freedom in the way that we live. We have the ability to travel, socialise, work, engage in our communities, dine out, attend concerts, spectate sports events, physically connect with people — and we will never take this time for granted again.
Here at The Good Registry we’ve seen a shift in attitudes, and through this all, kindness has come out on top. Many charities have struggled as their funding opportunities diminished, while the demand for their services increased during lockdown. Fundraising events were cancelled, and contributions from the philanthropic sector reduced. Through these challenging times have seen, and are continuing to see, Kiwis pulling together in creative ways to support the causes they care about. Online, challenges were created to encourage people to make donations to charities — such as the Run 5, Tag 5 and Donate 5 challenge. This not only saw people donating to a wide range of New Zealand charities, but it kept Kiwis connected and encouraged them to get moving and exercising — both incredibly important things during the lockdown.
We also launched our own #KindnessFromHome campaign, challenging people to at least 5 minutes of self-care, donating $5 to one of our 65 partner charities, and sharing it with 5 other people who would enjoy some kindness too. Five minutes of self care could be listening to your favourite song, meditating, calling a friend, or watching the sunrise. $5 could mean the coffee you would usually buy in the morning, the price of your commute, your parking (if only parking were that cheap!), or a even a drink after work. We were reminded that a little bit of kindness, even $5, can go such a long way. We’re delighted to be processing $5000 of donations through our #KindnessFromHome page, and to have heard of many more people giving Kindness From Home directly to their favourite causes too.
Thousands of Kiwis celebrated their birthdays during lockdown, and without the ability to celebrate together physically, we saw people adapt the way they celebrate special occasions. Many people used The Good Registry to celebrate their birthdays during this time. Without the ability to give or receive traditional gifts, donations to charitable registries and Good Gift Cards enabled people to celebrate, connect and support good causes at the same time.
Libby Burgess used The Good Registry for her birthday during lockdown, and said that during a time when people are worried, it provides and opportunity to create happiness and connect with each other.
“It’s created a positive space where people can be generous, kind, and connect to support a worthy cause. It also gives people meaning and purpose, and a way to express their personality and generosity during lockdown.”
Covid-19 has provided us with an opportunity to reset, and a chance to decide what is really important to us. As lockdown limited us to living only with the essentials, we’ve learnt to live without shopping and excessive consumption. Moving forward, we have a chance to rethink and carefully consider where and who we spend our money with, and what we really need to buy. We’ve seen the pride and support of local businesses and New Zealand made products only increase during lockdown, and technology has been key in connecting and supporting local.
A Facebook group, New Zealand Made Products was created to support local businesses in their recovery following lockdown. Now with more than 480,000 members, it’s a place for New Zealand creators to feature their products and be supported by an active community.
SOS Business is another online platform created to support local cafes, restaurants and other small businesses. It allows people to purchase gift cards from their favourite venues be redeemed in the future, to help business owners cover their costs and stay afloat during stressful and challenging times.
Save Our Venues NZ is another online platform that was created during lockdown, to support the New Zealand music scene. It’s helping raise funds for live music venues across Aotearoa, which are vital community hubs for local music lovers. It is great seeing technology being used to connect people, and support many different sectors and causes throughout the country.
The Good Registry is an NZ made platform supporting New Zealand charities, and we’re proudly part of the Buy New Zealand Made community. Buy New Zealand Made launched an online New Zealand shopping mall, ShopKiwi to support local businesses with their recovery. If you do need to buy something, ShopKiwi makes it easy to find local businesses that you can buy from and support.
Lockdown has also taught us that communication is so important, even when we’re not physically together. We’ve adapted by learning how to connect with telecommunications — by now we all may be masters of Zoom meetings! Telecommunicating has not only been important for working from home or studying, but for staying connected with our loved ones when we can’t be together. Time spent with our friends and family, or even a nice big hug are things we won’t take for granted again.
There’s no doubt that lockdown has brought with it many challenges, including the loss of jobs, home schooling, and learning to cope with reduced social connection. We like to focus on the positives, and how we’ve responded to these challenges. We need to continue working hard, and as New Zealanders we can all be proud of how far we have come.
We hope to see this shift in attitudes last — local support, conscious consumerism, and kindness are all so important for moving forward. At the start of this piece, I wrote that the most challenging times bring us the most empowering lessons, and this is so true for Covid-19 in New Zealand. We now have an opportunity to reset, and moving forward we must continue to make positive changes for our future. Level 1 and beyond will continue to bring us new challenges and new stresses, and we must remember to support each other through this, and above all, stay kind.
- Ainsley Harris