Kiwis have borne the brunt of wild weather this year as devastating floods swept across Ashburton in May, and Westport in July. As communities watched on as farmers lost their fodder and families were forced to evacuate their homes, RRT NZ spared no time to jump in and help.
Fodder for flood affected farmers
Earlier this year, farmers in Ashburton and surrounding areas lost fodder and livestock to flood waters, so RRT stepped in to help boost their winter feed stocks and lift their spirits with a free barbecue in August. With 20 flood affected farms as the final destination, RRT organised truckloads of baleage to transport hundreds of bales from the North Island of New Zealand to Ashburton.
Rapid Relief Team Local Team Leader (LTL), Bruce Mascull, said the farmers have been through a rough time in recent months.
“We are pleased to show our support to the farming community who have been severely affected by the recent floods. Four hundred bales will go a long way for these farmers who are having a rough time, and will help lighten the load,” Bruce said.
“The barbecue was designed to bring everyone together and to give farmers an excuse to take a short break from the farm,” Bruce continued.
In total, RRT organised 10 truckloads of baleage with 400 bales to be donated to farmers in Ashburton, Westport and other flood affected regions.
Fueling emergency responders and displaced families in Westport
Not long after the devastating floods in Ashburton, Westport was plunged into a state of emergency as record floods tore through the town in July. RRT NZ jumped into action to support emergency services responding to the disaster, serving more than 1,200 meals to help fuel their response efforts.
Beyond supporting emergency services, RRT also stepped in to support families displaced with 200 Food Boxes to help tide them over.
Local Team Leader for Westport, Dave Field, shared that RRT was pleased to support during this crisis.
“Small acts of kindness go along way in times such as these, so we were pleased to do our little bit to help out,” Dave shared.
“It was incredible to see the community come together to help out during this crisis. We heard one incredible story where a local member drowned their 4×4 to help rescue a neighbour in need! It was heartwarming to see the lengths people went to help out,” Dave continued.
As members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, RRT volunteers are guided by the Christian principles of care and compassion and will continue providing assistance as the communities begin to rebuild from this crisis.