Harnessing community generosity
Community Foundations of New Zealand
18 March 2019
We have all watched in horror as events have unfolded on March 15th, on what will be known forever as that black Friday in Christchurch. The ripple effect on Muslim communities, and far wider, will continue to be felt in the months and years to come.
This shocking event will change our country significantly, but we can make sure that some of these changes are positive. At times of real crisis there is a real desire for us all to think about what can we do, how we can help? Empathy is a powerful motivator and for us at Community Foundations we find ourselves wanting to find ways we can harness that angst and helpful energy towards something positive.
The Christchurch Foundation have acted quickly in setting up an emergency response. Direct donations will be channeled to families and Muslim communities where the funds are needed most. The banking industry has come together and has already kick-started $1 million for the Fund.
As Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has said, “The only way communities can respond to hate is to come together with love, compassion and kindness”. And the community is responding magnificently, we are already seeing an outpouring of support and care for Christchurch in the form of donations which is indeed a most practical way to help ease the pain for the resource-stretched agencies and volunteers on the ground.
In time we see that people often want to do more than the emergency response, so The Christchurch Foundation will eventually be talking with donors about giving with longevity to an endowment fund, supporting migrant communities. Perhaps now more than ever we need some structured solutions and a real sense that our efforts are going to make a real difference over time.
Many Community Foundations already support refugee and migrant families through a range of initiatives, which include tertiary scholarships, direct support to agencies and funding for social enterprises. We aim to foster a greater sense of belonging in Aotearoa New Zealand and we want to enable generous people to be a part of shaping the future.
But for now you can give to the Christchurch ‘Our People, Our City Fund’, see details at this link. You can also contact The Christchurch Foundation at any time to talk about contributing to wider solutions for community transformation.
It’s a collective, thoughtful response harnessing community generosity and sending a strong message to all cultures that ‘you are welcome here’. Kia kaha Christchurch.