Addressing Need in Queenstown
Kaye Parker lives in New Zealand’s tourism jewel, Queenstown, but with Covid-19 arriving on New Zealand’s doorstep last year, she knew her community would be in trouble.
Kaye was out biking the weekend before the countrywas plunged into an unexpected lockdown. She received the second call in two days asking to help a person in financial trouble; a family whose main breadwinner, with an underlying serious health condition, was behind on rent. With lockdown looming, he didn’t have enough food for his family. She said to her biking companion, ‘This is going to get much worse, our community is going to bleed, I think I have to come out of retirement’. And in that moment she did.
Kaye had retired three years before the worldwide pandemic from a successful fundraising career running not-for-profits. She immediately went out to canvas people in the Queenstown area for help, and quickly secured large donations. A granting committee of wellknown and trusted locals was set up with the mission to help the most vulnerable and the most affected by Covid-19 and that the funds would be used to help support the charities working at the coalface. One of the main recipients would include The Salvation Army. Kaye grew up in the church and it helped form the way she saw the world. ‘My father, Hugh Morris, taught us from a young age that we should always give back.’
‘The Salvation Army is always there in a time of need for everything, but in Queenstown the Salvation Army has never been needed like that, ever.’ Queenstown Corp Officer Lieutenant Andrew Wilson says Kaye’s help has been phenomenal. ‘In a nutshell, it’s meant we’re able to meet the huge demand as it’s come to us. Before Kaye reached out to us we were facing a big uphill battle.’ He says she’s made an enormous difference to the 4000 migrants in Queenstown, who were facing major issues with visas and Covid-19-related concerns. ‘Migrants in Queenstown now know that their community supports them and they can go to someone and trust them.’
Almost a year on from lockdown, the Queenstown community’s worries are not going away. Although Queenstown wasn’t hit as hard as expected, it’s starting to see a significant slowdown now in many sectors
Mental health is still a worrying issue in the town. Kaye says the foodbank, accommodation services, and all other help offered by The Salvation Army is making an enormous difference to her community. ‘The Salvation Army do such a magnificent job in the face of unreasonable but necessary requests, it’s nice to be able to help take the fundraising out of their worries.’
We are only able to continue to offer life-changing services because of your loyal support and all of our amazing donors. You can help change communities like this too, by sending your donation, big or small.