It’s a time to reach out to fellow New Zealanders in whatever way we can and Tamahere people are doing that.
Inspirational, cheery and joke signs have sprung up around the area and Teddy bears are popping out of mailboxes and sitting in windows as locals look to lift our spirits while we all endure pandemic lockdown.
Such gestures go a long way in these trying times and along with a phone call, a chat over the fence, a wave and a greeting to fellow walkers, runners or bikers in our neighbourhoods are good for the mental health of all of us.
For those who have the resources and time, good and innovative ways exist to help Kiwis who are doing it tough or need a hand locally and further afield.
After a week of interruption to its usual support for Hamilton’s vulnerable, the Hamilton Christian Combined Foodbank, based at Te Ara Hou in Hillcrest and usually staffed by volunteers, can now again work alongside the Salvation Army to deliver food parcels to homes.
Manager Ruth Barrowclough said cash donations, rather than food, are now the best way to support the Foodbank, because of the current difficulty posed by rules for hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing. Donations will enable the Foodbank to buy food in bulk from Pak ‘n’ Save.
To donate, the Hamilton Combined Christian Foodbank Trust’s ASB bank account number is: 12-3122-0122595-01
As well, the Foodbank expects to be approved shortly as an essential service, Barrowclough said. It will enable it to also continue supporting three of the seven welfare agencies it usually supplies with food parcels. They are Catholic Family Support Services, Anglican Action and Desert Spring Community Centre.
AS well, The Foodbank Project enables donations of anything from a single can of beans to a week’s supply of food for a family at the click of a computer mouse.
“As the Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand continues, we know that the most vulnerable in our communities are being greatly affected,” notes the website run by the Salvation Army in partnership with Countdown.
“Please donate to The Foodbank Project and support other Kiwis who are less fortunate during these uncertain times,” is their plea.
Violence rises in times of great stress and families confined together for long periods of time can be a trigger. Waikato Women’s Refuge – Te Whakaruruhau helps more than 6000 women and children affected by domestic violence every year.
You can support your community during the Covid-19 national emergency by volunteering your time and skills. Volunteering Waikato has many opportunities listed, with more to come.
Meanwhile, the Voluntarily site is another place to offer your time and expertise. It connects people who can volunteer time and skills, which may be needed by your community, small business, teachers, or seniors.
It’s a new enterprise which, as Newsroom explains, was about three months away from launch when Covid-19 struck. An all out effort was made to get it up and running immediately.
If you’re in need of welfare support, you’ll find information on the government’s Covid-19 website. If you’re not sure what help may be available, or don’t know who to contact for help, call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997 (8 am–1 am, 7 days a week).
The Waikato District Council Emergency Operations Centre is also up and running. You’ll find information here on the WDC website or you can phone them on 0800 492 452.
Freephone 0800 800 405 has been established for Waikato people struggling to get food, groceries, medication or other household goods and services.
The freephone service established by the Waikato Civil Defence and Emergency Management Group is available between 7am and 7pm daily, but does not replace other government helplines already in operation.
Accurate information has been vital during this pandemic and journalists and media companies have been working around the clock to supply it. But while they’ve never been needed more, and read and watched more, their income stream – advertising – has completely disappeared as business nationwide has shut down.
We consumers of their vital news and information can support them by subscribing to their newspapers – the Waikato Times, whose Stuff website is free – or the NZ Herald, which also offers a subscription to its premium online content.
Meanwhile, keep an eye on the online Tamahere e-Market for producers who may be able to supply online purchases now or from whom you could place orders when we return to the new normal. The same applies to businesses and services listed on the Tamahere Forum Directory here. Buy local and NZ-made.
What have you seen around the area that has brought a smile to your face? What others ways can you suggest for helping out fellow Kiwis? Use the comment section below or email firstname.lastname@example.org