Cyclone Gabrielle, which struck earlier this year, inflicted widespread damage and brought immense suffering to numerous individuals across the North Island. The Hawkes Bay and Wairoa regions, in particular bore the brunt of its impact.
To support the most affected communities, the Diocesan Cyclone Relief Appeal was launched, aiming to raise funds. Additionally, people across the Diocese generously donated food and other essential goods to assist those in need. As the worst of the devastation is now behind us, the appeal is scheduled to conclude at the end of May, having successfully raised over $215,000.
In a recent statement, local administrator Fr Craig Butler expressed heartfelt gratitude to all individuals for their remarkable generosity in providing relief and instilling hope in those who needed it most.
“Since February 2023 nine Hawkes Bay Catholic schools have been provided with over $65,000 of immediate financial assistance. These funds were used for student wellbeing, trauma counselling and to help with transport costs for students.
In addition to supporting our school communities, financial assistance of $5,000 has been provided to St Vincent de Paul in Hastings to support young people and a further $10,000 to provided further help with kitchen items, furniture, bedding items, clothes, and food.
The Diocesan Allocations Team engaged a specialized trauma counsellor, to facilitate various sessions for the Hawkes Bay community, providing much needed coping tools for those impacted by the disaster. Expenditure to date on this important service has amounted to $15,000.
We are currently processing a further $30,000 in requests for financial support and continue to work in collaboration with our affected communities to meet anticipated demand.”
Faith communities across the diocese came together to show their support for those impacted.
In April’s edition of WelCom, Sacred Heart College Napier principal Maria Neville-Foster reflected on the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, and the great generosity people had shown. Read it here.
A further article was published with reflections of various local experiences across of Hawkes Bay and Wairoa. Read it here.