The Salvation Army is currently developing a long-term strategy and programmes to assist affected Cantabrians over the coming months.
Meanwhile, more urgent support continues. Today, The Salvation Army went to Kairaki Beach Motor Camp Waimakariri to deliver a pallet of bottled water and 100 care packages to residents of a caravan park. While the park has a water supply, it is unable to connect water to caravans that house permanent residents, many of whom are elderly.
Care packages, containing food, confectionery, personal hygiene and cleaning products and Salvation Army contact details, have been distributed to around 4000 people in the hardest-hit areas. Salvation Army Public Relations Secretary Major Robbie Ross says recipients of the packages are often highly emotional. Messages thanking the Army for the parcels have been flowing in for the past week.
Community Ministries in the region are still experiencing a higher than average number requiring assistance but have move to more normalised operations. Food parcels distribution, which peaked at around 200 a day last week, has settled down to a rate of about 50 a day.
Salvation Army counsellors, including 15 from Australia, are working in high-need areas and going door-to-door. The 27 staff conduct around 40 intensive interviews and 90 non-intensive contacts per day.
Counsellors are ministering to rural Darfield residents, affected by the quake, following requests for help from the local Anglican parish.
Major Ross says the Australian team’s skills, honed in response to victims of the Australian bush fires, are of great benefit to shaken residents.
“We’re fortunate to have their assistance. The entire counselling team has moulded together well and is proving its value to the communities every day.”
Salvation Army counsellors are also working at Linwood, Kaiapoi and other areas, as well as providing support for staff of local firms.