How to help those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle from afar

As we grapple with the aftermath of destruction by Cyclone Gabrielle across the country, you may be wondering how you can best help those in need from afar.

If you’re not on the ground helping with the clean-up or providing aid, a natural instinct is to gather together items such as clothing, toys and blankets to donate. However, let’s stop you there.

Right now, the best thing you can do says Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups is to not donate goods and instead donate directly to relief funds.

Monetary donations are the most useful way to support affected communities as it means organisations can provide what is needed to the most affected.

You can do this by donating directly to the Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Fund.

New Zealand Red Cross teams have worked with emergency management agencies to deliver vital assistance across some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s hardest hit areas. That includes setting up and managing Civil Defence Centres and providing essential supplies such as stretchers, blankets, bedding and hygiene kits.

The Red Cross are deploying satellite phones, generators and other equipment. The Red Cross is also providing crucial psychosocial support and practical help to those who have been forced to leave their homes.

The farming community has been one of the hardest hit. People have lost their homes, livestock, crops, land and ultimately their livelihoods for the foreseeable future.

As a member of the farming community, wool accessory brand Honest Wolf, which hails from a third-generation farm at Papanui Estate in the North Island, is using their platform to raise funds for the clean-up ahead.

Honest Wolf has set up a donations page that will help provide relief to farmers affected by the storm, which raised over $60,000 in just over 24 hours.

Honest Wolf will work with Federated Farmers to distribute the donations.

And no donation is too small. Donations for the Honest Wolf fund start at $5.

You can also donate directly to Federated Farmers relief fund here.

News agency Stuff has set up a GiveaLittle fundraising page for Cyclone Gabrielle Community Support to support the Red Cross and Mayoral Relief Funds in affected areas, specifically in areas where a local state of emergency has been declared including Northland, Auckland, Tairāwhiti, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, and Hawke’s Bay.

The New Zealand Herald has also teamed up with Red Cross to raise relief funds and you can donate directly to Red Cross here. And Trade Me has set up The Kindness Store on its website where you can purchase donation vouchers ranging in value from $10 to $100 with 100 per cent of the money going to Red Cross.

If you can’t donate at the moment, one way you can help is to share these fundraising appeals with others around you and spread the word.

And, if you are near an affected area and able to help, check in with your local Civil Defence Emergency Management Group to find out how you can help them.

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