How Lockdowns Impact Grassroots Charities
September 27, 2021
For some, lockdown means more time at home with family, no commute to work and guilt-free Netflix binges. But what about those in our community that are unsure where their next meal is coming from? Or are suddenly stuck in an unsafe home environment?
Many of the charities we partner with work closely with individuals experiencing various states of vulnerability and for them, lockdown means working overtime. To help spread awareness about the amazing work going on right now at a grassroots charity level in Aotearoa, we spoke to three of our Superpartners - Kindness Collective, The Mums Clique and Shine - about the impact lockdowns have on their mahi and what they’d like their communities to be aware of during this time.
How does extra support from donors during times of lockdown help your charity or service?
Sarah Page, Kindness Collective: Every lockdown the demand for charity and community groups and their services increase, so it’s so important that people keep donating whatever they can, whenever they can. Supporting us (and charities providing food support) means we can be reactive, fill the gaps in community support and help people today, where it’s needed. There’s so much misconception around what WINZ and MSD provide, but it’s not enough, it’s not fast enough and it’s barely scratching the surface of what’s truly needed.
For us, our focus and attention pivots to food and essential support for numerous organisations and families doing it tough each lockdown. We’ve had so many emails and messages from desperate people needing food, including the elderly. We had a Mum get in touch who had 14 whānau in one two bedroom house which was just awful. We do what we can, when we can but we rely on the generosity of others to help.
Abbey Fouche,The Mums Clique: During lockdown the increase for our service skyrockets. In the first 12 hours since the lockdown announcement we have received more cries for help than we usually receive over a week. We support on average 500 families per month with our assistance boxes and to give an indication during the last lockdown we supported 716 families in one week at a cost to the charity of over $70,000. We see a decrease in donations, both product and monetary, and a huge increase in demand for our services which is a very difficult challenge we face.
Carol Herbert, Shine: Shine frontline staff are working super hard to keep up with the additional demand on services from victims of domestic violence. We have seen from previous lockdowns the significant increase in domestic violence that occurs when victims are trapped at home with their abusers 24/7. The extra support from our community ensures that we can be there for victims to help them and their children get safe, stay safe and heal.
Does the support your service or charity provide become more essential during times of lockdown?
Sarah Page, Kindness Collective: Absolutely. Being a grassroots charity, we’re able to get immediate support to those who need it in the community then and there. What we want people to understand is that lockdown for families already struggling can be devastating. Children who normally get breakfast and lunch at school are now at home, the demand on essentials like food, toiletries, power etc increase with more people in the house and adults who aren’t able to work from home lose hours at work.
Abbey Fouche, The Mums Clique: Absolutely, we have had messages from social workers and the family harm team in the police force letting us know that without our help they would have families in dire straits. Unable to keep their families bellies full and warm with the basic essentials required such as nappies, formula, wipes and soap.
Carol Herbert, Shine: Domestic violence is known as the ‘shadow pandemic’ with every lockdown to date seeing an increase in domestic violence, and our current lockdown will be no different. We need to make sure that victims who escape their violent bubbles have the support available to keep them safe and provide emergency support including counselling and emergency access to essentials such as accommodation, food, medication, clothing and social support.
What is one thing you would like to bring awareness to during times like this?
Sarah Page, Kindness Collective: I saw this great quote the other day that roughly said “Yes, we are all in this ocean together in the same storm, but some of us are experiencing it in yachts, some without life jackets and some are drowning.”
If you have more than you need right now, if you’re getting paid, safe, warm at home, if you have food in your fridge with no worry or thought about where your next meal is coming from, then please give generously to charities and organisations out there providing food and essentials. It doesn’t have to be the Kindness Collective, there are heaps of amazing groups doing amazing mahi, so just find something that resonates with you and just give.
Abbey Fouche, The Mums Clique: We want our community to know that we are here for every mum. And that every mum and her family deserves support and are entitled to help, so if they are struggling to meet their families basic needs then we are here for them and we encourage them to reach out to us for help.
Carol Herbert, Shine: If you are not safe in your bubble, reach out and ask for help. If you are in immediate danger call 111, if it isn’t safe to speak, push 55 and you will be put through to the Police. You can call Shine’s helpline 0508 744 633 or webchat www.2shine.org.nz, 24/7. If you are in danger, you can leave your home to seek help.
If you’re in the financial position to do so, we encourage you to give to these incredible charities and help them continue their important work:
The Kindness Collective makes it easy for people, brands and businesses to turn kindness into action to help kiwis in need.
Mums Clique provide support to all mothers regardless of age, stage or journey, through free or low cost programming, support hampers and essential products, as well as an emphasis on fostering community and friendships.
Shine provides a range of effective, practical and innovative services to achieve our mission to stop domestic violence in New Zealand.
You can make your donations to these charities go even further by signing up to Supergenerous and choosing to regift your donation rebate. It’s an awesome way to extend your generosity for these local charities and the individuals and families they support.
You can also claim and regift your donation rebates for any donation you have made over the past four years to a registered charitable organisation in New Zealand. Every bit counts, especially during lockdowns.