Lions Clubs International Foundation Chairperson Wirfs’ Update on New Zealand
I’m sure that you have been following the news reports of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Much of the city is still without water and sewage systems and aftershocks continue. Thousands are homeless as a result of the destruction.
Right now, Margit and I, and LCIF staff, are on our way to New Zealand to meet with Lions and view their current relief efforts. We will also meet with the mayor and Red Cross to discuss future plans.
Lions have been providing assistance since the devastating earthquake February 22, and LCIF is providing US$110,000 to help Lions in providing relief to their communities. In the past week Lions services include:
- Delivering 500 portable toilets to Doctors Surgery’s, Nurse Maud Assn. and households in eastern suburbs
- Going door to door in the suburbs with the Red Cross to find those who need assistance
- Providing grocery and fuel vouchers to families in need as well as food, bedding and water
- Volunteering at welfare centers in Christchurch and Timaru
- Raising $34,000 during a weekend fund-raiser
- Distributing meals through a food caravan in Christchurch
- Lions from neighboring areas traveling to Christchurch to assist in relief projects, such as door-to-door outreach, delivering food and helping with clean-up
- Lions in neighboring towns are organizing dinners for displaced families and housing for Lions in need
- Staffing two daily shifts to assist at the national Red Cross coordination office in Wellington
- Delivering a 40,000 litre tanker of fresh water to the suburbs of Christchurch
- Providing weekend breaks to families to escape from the city for two days
Wherever there is a need, there is a Lions club nearby, ready to respond with their hearts and hands. In the case of disasters, we are among the first to offer help, and the last to leave. If you want to help the people of New Zealand, the most effective and immediate way to do this is through a designated donation to LCIF for New Zealand relief.