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Rural Women and Red Cross boost flood morale

Rural Women and Red Cross boost flood morale

New Zealand Red Cross has donated funds to support community gatherings in flood affected areas. Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is providing the organisational network for planning and publicising these events.

“Social gatherings will enable people to get together and talk over their troubles and experiences, or to just have time out from clean-up operations. It is important to encourage this type of support, which is inherent in our rural communities. We will use opportunity to reinforce the social glue that binds people together at difficult times and helps them in the long months ahead,” says RWNZ co-ordinator Jacky Stafford.

RWNZ has been chosen to help plan and promote events since they have a well-established network of members with local knowledge. Mrs Stafford says that many of these members have been personally affected by the floods.

The first in a series of community gatherings will be held on Thursday evening 26th March in Opiki on the Manawatu River. Red Cross funding will provide food costs for an estimated 200 people who wish to hold a “Thanksgiving” dinner at The Barn.

“Local people want an opportunity to thank all those who have provided support in the clean-up, including a large number of army workers who worked hard in the sand bagging operations.”

Mrs Stafford says that civil defence personnel and other helpers have become valued members of rural communities in recent weeks. “Despite the physical isolation of many flood affected families, people are heartened by the tremendous community spirit that has been shown during this period.”

In addition to providing organisational and community support in the wake of floods, RWNZ has also initiated a Flood Fund totalling over $30,000 from member donations.

“The level of support that has come to us from throughout the country has been extremely heart-warming,” Mrs Stafford says.

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