Hopefully in just over 24 hours people from three of our west-side Presbyterian churches will be delivering some 374 supermarket vouchers worth $200 each in a red zoned area over on Christchurch’s east side. The exact location is being kept quiet simply because we have no interest in the media being part of the project. The media will have the opportunity to report on it after the event, but our feeling is that these vouchers are a gift for a small portion of the people whose lives have already been invaded by devastating earthquakes, liquefaction, and news that they have to abandon their properties. The gifts of money that have enabled us to carry out this act have been in the spirit of giving without any strings attached, and us seeking publicity at the time of the event is against that spirit.
A media release is being made on Sunday evening or Monday morning, but even then there will be no disclosure of the area we visited. It will be up to people from that area to tell their own story should they wish to.
Over $70,000 worth of vouchers sounds a lot, but actually it packs down into quite a small box, and only allows us to visit a very small area in the city. How we wish we could do more! But we realise we are part of a much wider generosity and we hope that $200 makes a difference for some people.
Some might ask why go for $200 and not double the number of households by handing out $100 vouchers? That was definitely an option that we considered, but in the end we felt that $200 will make a significant dent in people’s weekly shopping bill, and that was our hope, to make a difference of some proportion.
We are watching the weather forecast and it looks quite bleak with the potential of a snowfall on Sunday – we hope that that is in the afternoon after we have been – but really hope that for the sake of all the people trying to get by in the red zones of the city that the snow doesn’t eventuate at all.