I’m travelling in the Eastern US right now and will soon be posting about that trip as well as others that I’ve been on in the past 6 months, but in the meantime, there’s something important I’d like to fill you all in on. I haven’t really mentioned it here, but one of my closest friends, who goes by Rumpelsnorcack online, lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
For those of you who don’t know, Christchurch was hit by a massive Earthquake on September 4th, 2010 that caused a lot of damage to the city, but thankfully no loss of life. Unfortunately, on February 22nd, 2011 they had a very large aftershock that caused extensive damage and killed over 150 people. It’s not mentioned on the news anymore, but thanks to Rumpelsnorcack I know that things in Christchurch are far from normal – or easy. (Be sure to check out her journal for some first hand accounts of what it’s really like right now).
It’s easy to forget that after the sensationalism of such a disaster, that there are people there – mothers, children, husbands, etc. who have to deal with the ramifications. It’s been overshadowed by the disaster in Japan, and rightly so, but it’s important to remember that Christchurch is still in a National State of Emergency. There are thousands of people who’ve been displaced from their homes – a troubling fact as their winter rapidly approaches. Much of Christchurch’s infrastructure has suffered extensive damage. The sewage system in particular is a complete mess and many people are having to use porta loos and chemical toilets because the system just can’t handle anything right now.
The roads are a mess. Although most of them are drivable, there are diversions and sections blocked off all over the place. Most of the Central Business District – where most of the deaths took place, is still closed which means rebuilding and reopening of businesses is a challenge. In short, the city is suffering and needs help to get back on it’s feet.
I’ve been wanting to do something to help for a while now and today I stumbled across an opportunity to do just that. The owners of the Gerkin tower in London have organized a fundraiser for May 22nd called Step Up For Christchurch. Basically it involves climbing (or running, or taking the lift) up 1037 stairs to the top of the building in an effort to raise money. 100% of the proceeds go directly to the NZ Earthquake Appeal which means the money will be used to help rebuild infrastructure and fund public programs made necessary to help with people resume “normal” life. I’m planning to do it. I’ve already signed up and I’m hoping to raise at least £7000 by doing this.
So that’s where you come in. If you’re at all able to, please visit my official participant page and donate. Any amount will help no matter how small. If you can’t donate (and even if you can) you can help by passing on the information to others whom you think might be able to help. Rumpelsnorcack and her fellow Canterbrians will benefit directly from any help we’re able to give.
Also, if you live in or near London (or don’t but will be visiting then) consider joining up yourself. It only costs £25 to register (all of which goes to the NZ EQ Appeal) and the more people who participate, the more money we can raise to help rebuild this wonderful corner of the world.
Thank you for any help you’re able to give.