QuakeAid will be a massive street-by-street food and goods collection taking place throughout Rotorua district on Saturday afternoon [19 March]. Supplies collected will be packed and transported to Christchurch for distribution to those people struggling to get by in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.
Mijo Katavic from Rotorua District Council’s business unit Castlecorp says many wonderful fundraising efforts have been launched in Rotorua over the last week or so and the money raised and items sent will help Christchurch to get back on its feet. He pointed out that many organisations had also dispatched emergency specialists to Christchurch to help out on the ground.
“However Rotorua QuakeAid will be unique in the way the collection takes place, in how far it reaches into our community, and in the diversity of organisations and people coming together for a common purpose.
“We’re expecting Rotorua QuakeAid to be one of the largest collections of its type ever seen in this region.
“The logistically challenging collaborative effort of a number of Rotorua businesses and organisations will be complemented by valuable support from the district’s emergency services and support agencies, many of which are already involved in the rescue and recovery effort on the ground in Christchurch.
“The Rotorua community has a great opportunity to unite for the common cause of helping our Canterbury whanau in their time of real need, and we’re anticipating that our whole local population will get right behind the project,” said Mr Katavic.
The concept of a district-wide street-by-street collection of food and other supplies is the brain child of Rotorua District Council Deputy Rural Fire Officer Richard Horn from the council’s Castlecorp business unit.
Rotorua District Council is taking the lead role in coordinating the QuakeAid effort with help and assistance from other local groups, businesses and individuals.
“Rotorua is renowned for its generosity and spirit of ‘manaakitanga’ (traditional hospitality), and this collection will provide every household with the opportunity to be involved. No matter how small a donation, all non-perishable food and goods will be gratefully accepted,” said Mr Katavic.
The Rotorua QuakeAid collection takes place from 2pm on Saturday 19 March, rain hail or shine. Emergency vehicles will sound sirens at points along each street throughout the district, and will be followed by vans and trucks collecting goods brought out to vehicles by residents, or left at letterboxes to be picked up. Authorised collectors will carry official Rotorua QuakeAid ID.
Christchurch welfare authorities have said only non-perishable goods should be collected and have specifically identified the following as most needed:
- Canned goods (eg fruit, vegetables, soup, fish etc)
- Tinned meats and spreads
- Dried food (eg pasta, rice, cereal etc)
- Long-life milk
- Toilet paper
- Disposable nappies