New Zealand Red Cross has been providing Red Cross Parcels to members of the Katikati community adversely impacted by the global pandemic, bringing a sense of hope and comfort in what can be a difficult time for many.
Fifty Red Cross Parcels are being distributed in Katikati, with the help of the Katikati Community Centre.
Each parcel is filled with essential goods with a wellbeing focus to remind struggling families that they have not been forgotten, gifting them important products, including hygiene items, groceries, blankets and treats.
"We reached out to our local community agencies to support us in finding families that would benefit the most from receiving a Red Cross Parcel," says Allan Wainwright, Katikati Community Centre manager.
"With the support of Katikati College, Waihi Beach Primary School, Katikati Foodbank, and our Pasifika community, we were able to quickly distribute these parcels to those families," he says.
Red Cross Parcels have played a vital role in New Zealand's history. Originally created as a way to send food and clothing to prisoners of war overseas, these iconic care packages spread kindness and hope, providing comfort to those who need it most.
With the support of major partner AMI, as well as donations from Air New Zealand, L'Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser and CBRE, New Zealand Red Cross is gifting these parcels to support households feeling the impact of Covid-19.
"We know many families who were already in a difficult situation before Covid-19 are now struggling to meet their basic needs.
"We're hoping our Red Cross Parcels will remind people they are valued and cared for, and alleviate some of the stress they may be feeling at this time by giving them essential goods," says Shaun Greaves, New Zealand Red Cross general manager humanitarian development.
The distribution of the parcels comes as an extension to Red Cross' initial Covid-19 response.
Following the nationwide lockdown, 3700 Red Cross Parcels were distributed to vulnerable communities supported by New Zealand Red Cross through its essential services.
These included Meals on Wheels recipients and former refugee families who greatly appreciated the extra support.
"Our experience responding to many disasters around Aotearoa shows the importance of us being there to support communities long after the initial shakes, floods, fire or, in this case, lockdowns resulting from the pandemic.
"As the impact of the pandemic is still being greatly felt by Kiwi families, our goal remains the same – through these Red Cross Parcels, we want to bring 'hope in a box' for people in need during Covid-19.
"Thanks to our generous business and community partners, we are able to do just that," says Greaves.
Parcels include a fleece blanket, gloves, masks, toilet paper, tissues, moisturiser, Glen 20 disinfectant, Dettol liquid soap and hand sanitiser, laundry powder, Air New Zealand's Kia Ora Magazine, biscuits, chocolate, Milo, tea and L'Oréal hair products.