Cy­clone re­lief ap­peal turns into a flood of do­na­tions

Hamilton News - - Front Page - Ee­shani Di­nesh

An em­ployee of Spec­savers in Hamil­ton CBD Su­jata Naicker was dev­as­tated when her fam­ily in Fiji were vic­tims of the floods caused by Cy­clone Josie ear­lier this year.

The news of the cy­clone hit­ting her fam­ily home in the small town of Ba in west­ern Fiji shat­tered her.

“My fam­ily lost ev­ery­thing to the flood, the whole town was un­der water and there was noth­ing left of our house,” she said.

When Su­jata’s boss learned about the in­ci­dent, all she wanted was to find a way to help Su­jata and her fam­ily. Her ef­forts to help one fam­ily turned into a flood of re­lief aid with a whole ship­ping con­tainer sent to help peo­ple in Ba.

Su­jata has been work­ing at Spec­savers since mov­ing from Ba four years ago.

“She is such a hard worker and is al­ways help­ing other peo­ple, I wanted to do this for her,” her man­ager, Sta­cie Richards, said.

Sta­cie used the best way she knew to help oth­ers. She put a post on her Face­book wall to reach peo­ple. Her friends and fam­ily shared the post and the re­sponse re­ceived was flab­ber­gast­ing, she said.

The ini­tial plan to send a few things to help Su­jata’s fam­ily was grow­ing into a wild­fire. Soon there were peo­ple drop­ping off blan­kets, clothes, sheets, nap­pies, pots and pans, even books and toys for kids.

Most pa­tients who came to Spec­savers brought in things to sup­port the cause as well. It was no longer a small project.

Sta­cie ar­ranged drop-off point at the Te Awa­mutu Bi­ble Chapel, so it would be eas­ier for peo­ple to make do­na­tions.

Ev­ery item that came was sorted out by Sta­cie and Su­jata to be sent to Fiji in a con­tainer.

They got in touch with one of the largest non-gov­ern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions in Fiji, TISI Sangam, to re­ceive the aid and dis­trib­ute it among the vic­tims, while the teams of the CBD and Te Rapa Spec­savers staff came for­ward to pay for the ship­ment.

The con­tainer was shipped to Fiji on Tues­day, April 24. Su­jata said it was well re­ceived and the items were dis­trib­uted among

My fam­ily lost ev­ery­thing to the flood, the whole town was un­der water and there was noth­ing left of our house. Su­jata Naicker

Photo / Ee­shani Di­nesh

Sta­cie Richards and Su­jata Naicker at the Spec­savers store in Hamil­ton CBD.

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