The New Zealand Red Cross fundraiser for Cyclone Gabrielle relief, backed by the Herald and NZME has raised $13 million in its first two weeks.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity of New Zealanders and our corporate partners and supporters,” Red Cross general manager engagement and enterprise Shane Chisholm said.
“Our priority is to ensure that money donated to the New Zealand Disaster Fund supports those affected by the severe weather events, Cyclone Gabrielle and helps build future preparedness in the most effective ways.”
Donations made to the fund will be used to provide ongoing support to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and to prepare for, respond to and recover from future disasters as the impacts of climate change grow.
Donations can be made here: New Zealand Disaster Fund | New Zealand Red Cross
The Red Cross’ disaster and welfare teams have already spent over 5000 hours responding to the double crises of Cyclone Gabrielle and the Auckland Anniversary Weekend floods.
It has trained about 80 healthcare workers and community members in psychological first aid to help them provide wellbeing support.
Some money from the fund will also go to existing community groups and programmes.
Applications for funding support will open shortly, a spokesperson for Red Cross said.
“[This] provides support to communities facing hardship faster and more effectively,” Chisholm said.
“We’re looking at what organisations are on the ground where, so that we can work with them to build on existing knowledge, expertise and programmes that are already up and running.”
Some $600,000 has already been spent, purchasing and giving out generators, fuel containers, satellite phones and portable radios, bedding, stretchers, first aid kits, dehumidifiers and clean-up kits.
NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said: “The NZ Herald is committed to keeping Kiwis in the know with extensive coverage of the devastating events - and we want to help further.
“Through our digital, print and radio channels, we are encouraging our audience to donate. Big or small, every donation helps.”
NZME chief executive Michael Boggs says the company is determined to do whatever it can to support those impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“The events have been catastrophic for communities across the North Island and the need for support is critical,” Boggs said.
“At NZME we have a presence across all the communities that have been affected, with many of our staff, our customers, our readers and our listeners living in or having loved ones in those areas.
“I know everyone across NZME will be getting right behind this cause, promoting and supporting it however we can, to ensure we raise as much money as possible for those in need,” Boggs said.