Monday, 28 February 2011

Gift Of Love Appeal

This is my first post without pretty pictures, or any pictures at all actually.  It's all pretty doom and gloom in our little country since the huge earthquake in Christchurch.  Many of you won't realise just how much impact it has had on all of us.  It's not just something that will get cleaned up and we all move on.  We've gone from 24 hour coverage on TV, just waiting for a miracle to appear, to wondering what this will mean for the city and the country, as we work out just how much it has and will cost us.

There are people who have lost so much.  At least one man has lost his wife, house and business.  What does he have left?  Well his life I guess, but that's probably not enough for him at the moment.  There are a good many people seeking help for depression over this tragedy.  Just reading the newspaper articles is enough to bring on depression.  There are many people who have fled to other parts of the country or the world for either a break or for good.  Some are undecided and feeling so lost.

Some houses had boulders through them, some fell down cliffs, some lost walls and/or their roof, whole streets have been destroyed by the land being so cut up.  Most houses had everything in them thrown onto the floors.  I've never seen so many destroyed cars.

Bulldozer and digger drivers are having to do a job that they are not trained for.  They are having to dig in sites that have trapped people in them.  They are uncovering dead people every day.  So far 70 people have been rescued, but they were all in the first 24 hours.  There have been no miracles since that time.  We are on Day 6 now.   Only six people have been identified so far, that leaves about 200 families just waiting.  It's taking forever.  The first funeral will be held today, for a five month old baby. 

Our country is very good in a crisis.  Thousands of kind people have given over houses or rooms free to help people who need a safe place to stay for a while.  Donations have helped get food and water to all the affected people.  Students have made us proud once again, helping out by the hundred clearing up front yards, removing ruined carpet, digging out cars, making up lunch bags and the list goes on.  There are so many people donating equipment, necessary goods, blankets, you name it.  It's wonderful to see.

Liquefaction is a word our whole country knows about.  Do you know what that means?  I bet you could ask any five year old here and they could tell you.  It's when the ground shakes so violently that the water rises to the surface resembling a flood.  Some areas were under a metre or so of water.  This also leaves behind thick black sandy mud that needs to be dug off the land and taken away.  The streets are lined with piles of the stuff now.

It's hard to know what we can do to help the people of Christchurch.  There is the Red Cross Appeal, but other than that it's difficult to know what else we can do.  Thousands of people have been leaving the city every day since the quake.  They are scattered wide.  Those that remain are living in a city that's just not operating.  Schools are closed this week, the CBD is a complete no-go zone.  Hundreds of houses are going to have to be bulldozed.  Those that have houses too broken to be lived in will have to wait months or even years to move back into.  There aren't enough tradesmen to sort out this problem in a short space of time.

The economy was already in a very bad way.  Businesses that we thought would always be around have been closing their doors in the past two years.  I don't know what our country will be like by the end of this year.  Apparently we can afford to fix this city, but then all the money in the kitty will be gone.  What if something else happens?  Our side of the world hasn't had much luck lately has it?

Tomorrow at 12.51pm there will be two minutes silence. It will be a week since the tragedy occurred.

It's a very tense time for all of us, but for those that were in Christchurch especially.  They are just in survival mode at the moment.  All attention is still on the CBD and the recovery effort.  The residents have been through all of this before and know what is ahead.  Lots of heartache, hard work and frazzled nerves.

I'm wondering what would be the best thing for me to do.  Perhaps I could organise a collection of specially made presents for some of those people left struggling?  Something so they know we are thinking of them in this terrible time.  Perhaps a cushion to hug, a teddy/doll for a child, a pair of knitted slippers for the cold months ahead?  It gets very cold in the winter months down there.  Last year they had snow on the ground.  There is a limited mail service at the moment, but that will improve as the streets get cleaned up. 

I could talk for hours on this subject but I will stop here.  But first I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all the wonderful countries that have sent much needed help to Chch.  Many search and rescue crews are here helping out using their own resourses.  It is very much appreciated and it has made an enormous difference to finding people alive.  The dead and the missing are from 20 different countries, so it's a world wide tragedy. 

Please can you help out in some small way?  Cat is continuing her quilt and crochet blanket collection.  You can send whole quilts or just patches or granny squares to her.   Maybe you could donate to the Red Cross Appeal?  Maybe you would like to send a 'Gift of Love' for me to send to those in need?  Just let me know. 

Thank you so much for your support through your comments and kind offers.  Here's hoping for a brighter week!

Please add my 'Gift of Love' badge to your blog if you like to help spread the word.  It's at the top right.  Thanks!


Christy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost so much and especially if they have lost loved ones.

PTS Post traumatic stress seems to be initials used more and more around the world today.

Such disasters are taking their toll economically in NZ and around the world.

But we are thinking of your specific disaster in Christchurch.


swedishouse said...

Hej Sarah

Heart-breaking ;-(
The wonderful people of NZ, especially Christchurch are in my thoughts and prayers...
Soo sad...

So comforting for them to know good people like yourself are their organising and offering something tangible, in some small way to help.

It's too easy to be detached from it when your the otherside of the world...

I've made a dontation via the Red Cross...

We live in hope always that more survivors are found soon...

Love & God Bless

sallgood said...

I was touched by your description. I grew up in an area with frequent (though non-devastating) earthquakes, and they are so frightening- the violent moving of the earth shakes our sense of security even when the only damage is broken windows.

I'll be making a Red Cross donation.

janjan said...

I watched the news with a breaking heart. Willing each rescue attempt to find more people alive. So much has happened recently, the floods down south and the cyclones up north. Mother Nature just doesn't know when enough is enough.
I found out today that my cousins family and friends are all safe in Christchurch, big relief.
When sonething like this happens, it makes us all sit back and think about what is important to us.
Hugs and prayers to all that need them.

Jan (In far north queensland, Aus.)

BubzRugz said...

My thoughts are with you.... People were so good to us in Queensland - including New Zealanders... now it is our turn to help...
I read this one also this morning
Hugz to all

Andrea said...

My thoughts with Christchurch and NZ too. We are starting our honey moon there in August - I don't know if our accomodation still exists, but we have a campervan booked for day 3 so will probably just extend that booking a bit earlier. We will still try and stay there, at least a couple of nights, to spend our in that way at least.

Good for you for organising this - the Queensland flood appeal did very well with an online auction. Raised nearly $100K.....

Catherine said...

Hey honey = I've just arrived home from the South Island - the airport was chaos and I was reduced to humble tears as I watched a plane load of Police from Victoria/Australia board bound for Christchurch. I'm eternally grateful to the world over for their kindness.
May you please email me the picture for your Gift Of Love so I may share it on my blog.

delia hornbook said...

I really don't know what to say, no words will make any difference, But my thoughts and prayers are with you all, dee x

Justine said...

Hey Sarah. Its so awful whats happening in NZ currently, a friend of mine has 3 dead relatives with many more who are homeless. My own family on the North Island are thankfully safe. I too have donated via the red cross.

bottle meamessage said...

This is really a very SWEET post.

Gem said...

I really don't know what to say. It is a truly terrible thing that has happened and my toughts go out to all those who have been affected. I would be more then happy to post a button on my page to support this. I think it is a lovely idea, and something I will be working on for you. Once I have something to send I will get in touch. Gem xxx

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

A wonderful idea Sarah, thank you.

x x

Linda Gilbert said...

We were in Christchurch 2 months ago whilst on our travels from the Uk. We absolutely loved New Zealand and were so shocked and saddened to read of your news. What a sadness you must be feeling and I send our gentlest thoughts to all New Zealanders as you come to terms with this tragedy

Michaja said...

It's hard isn't it that we can't do much for those poor people that have lost so much.
It's just great you are organising a 'gift of love'!
Will put the badge on my blog as soon as you have made it.

Heidi said...

I'm so sorry I have been so caught up in my own world lately of mountains of work that I'm totaly out of touch in the world I'm soooo sorry....Its devastating!

dutch sisters said...

It is all so heartbraking and devastating to hear and read about all the loss.
your idea is so sweet. xxx wish you and yours strength.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
I have just found your blog and just wanted to tell you how we are all so overwhelmed and saddened by the Christchurch earthquake. I am following the news and I pray for all those who have lost so much.
Great Idea about the "gift of love Appeal". will put your button on my blog.
all the best wishes from us.

Fondant Kiss said...

So sad, but you are so good to put the word out and point us in the direction to help. I have put your badge on my blog and would like to know where to send a few "gifts of love"
Deb x

Keke said...


I was so sad to hear of the tragedy in Christchurch. I have placed your button on my blog. I too would love to donate something if you let me know where to send it. Once all the immediate needs are met I think you are right and good that a little homemade sentiment will comfort the heart.

XO Keke