Getting out of the bubble to help out
Who to contact
Inside the bubble of central Motueka, you wouldn’t even know that there’d been a storm. For our Fry Street property, Cyclone Gita meant little more than battered flower heads and a ripped trampoline pad.
It’s surreal to think that just a few kilometres away, in
Marahau, and up hills and valleys to the west and north, people are desperately struggling with the realities of monumental clean-ups; of rebuilding their livelihoods; of finding new homes.
My son’s kindy teacher is immensely capable and virtually unflappable, but when I queried how her Marahau property had fared in the storm, her reaction chilled me.
‘‘It’s just devastation,’’ she replied simply, which basically says it all.
The volunteer effort following Gita was immediate and enormous. People have offered food, equipment, hours and hours of their time. I was feeling desperate to do something too. I hoped to find my way to a shovel, and that the more I shovelled, the less helpless I would feel. I was stymied by my preschoolers, who would hugely enjoy playing in the mud and do nothing to detract from anyone’s stress levels.
I lamented to friends, who recognised my feelings and added some of their own. Guilty. Powerless. Overwhelmed.
My pragmatic mother-in-law got straight to the point.
‘‘What do you do well?’’ she asked. ‘‘You bake and you write. So do that.’’
The resulting biscuits aren’t magical. They can’t undo the tidal waves of debris that smashed through your properties, or clean the silt from your carpets. But they’re some little thing that can be offered to you from within our bubble, so that you know that there are people out there who want you to be bolstered by our support.
These words contain no magic either but perhaps contain a tiny bit of comfort. For those of you who are affected, please know that you have the strength of a community Donate meals and baking Melissa Girvan 0272099309, Edee Bolton 027848323
I can deliver meals to people Melissa Girvan 0272099309
My business wants to donate food - Edee Bolton 027848323
I can volunteer with clean up Claire Hutt 0276591563
I can donate money - Tracey Pickworth 0272943024
I need temporary accommodation - Motueka Rec Centre 03528828
I need pastoral care - Brent Pickworth 0274896021
Stan Stroder shovels silt and mud from a property in Old Mill Road, Riwaka, after ex Cyclone Gita caused damage across the region.
behind you. In the coming weeks, we won’t always know what you need, so please tell us.
Whether it’s a hot meal so that you have one less thing to think about, or a couple of hours of care for your kids so you can clear your head and take stock, please ask. And please keep asking - keep bursting the bubble that everything is back to normal, because of course we need to be reminded that for many of you, normal is weeks and months away.
For my fellow bubble-dwellers, if you can’t quite comprehend what all the fuss is about, go and see what our neighbouring suburbs need to overcome. But don’t be a rubbernecker. Take your shovel.