Cyclone relief appeal turns into a flood of donations
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
Stacie Richards and Sujata Naicker at the Specsavers store in Hamilton CBD.