BNZ helps the Sallies keep up the good work in Canterbury

Tuesday 21 February 2012, 3:56PM

-Make a gold coin donation to the Salvation Army Appeal in BNZ stores nationwide-

A year on from the February 22 earthquake, BNZ is asking the nation to get behind The Salvation Army’s good work in Canterbury by making a donation through its stores nationwide.

As the anniversary of the earthquake approaches, the Sallies can look back at a job well done. Quickly marshalling their troops, the organisation became the first line of care for quake-affected Cantabrians, distributing over $8m in food, care packages, psychosocial support, respite holidays, support for schools and other practical supports.

In the days immediately following the 22 February quake, The Salvation Army served up to 4,700 meals a day to displaced residents and emergency services workers, providing over 75,000 meals. Around 1,200 personnel were deployed from around New Zealand and Australia to visit over 100,000 affected Christchurch households.

But instead of taking a well-deserved breather, they’re continuing their activities, focusing on initiatives to build long-term resilience in quake-affected residents.

National head of The Salvation Army’s earthquake response, Lieut-Colonel Lyndon Buckingham, says while there are signs of hope and progress for Christchurch, the year ahead will still be a tough one for many people, with some household budgets threatening to collapse under the strain. He says, “The Salvation Army is committed to working alongside Cantabrians for the long haul. We greatly value the public’s support, which is helping us reach out with immediate and sustained assistance when people are struggling.”

BNZ CEO Andrew Thorburn is mobilising his 5,000-strong team in support of the Salvation Army. “BNZers across the country will be putting their backs into fundraising efforts and drumming up donations to strengthen the Sallies’ work. We’ll also be going red and black for the day tomorrow with staff nationwide donning Canterbury colours in support of the region.

“The Salvation Army has done a sterling job of bolstering the relief and rebuild effort, and it is heartening to see Kiwis rallying around the cause,” he says.

Salvation Army support for Cantabrians since the September 2010 earthquake has included assistance with food, clothing and furniture, along with budget advice, relocation grants, and counselling. Mobile Community Care vans are visiting quake-affected communities to offer practical and emotional support, advice and referrals.

As well as around $4 million in direct welfare costs, The Salvation Army has provided:
• Care Cards to a value of $1.4 million
• 20,900 chemical toilets (at a cost of $1 million)
• 21 custom-built shower and changing cubicles (at a cost of $130,000)
• $400,000 toward a Schools Project that provides embedded community workers and other assistance to teaching staff, children and families.
• Respite holidays totalling $67,000 for traumatised families.

Donations can be made across the counter in any BNZ store nationwide from 22 February.