KIRF is collecting donations to purchase living supplies for earthquake survivors who lost the local Kiwi business owner in Christchurch, New Zealand. We are sourcing relief supplies in the Christchurch area as much as possible in order to support the local businesses that have also been devastated by the earthquake. Tourism is the main source of income for the area according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. The tourist economy has been temporarily halted by the 6.3 earthquake that flattened much of downtown Christchurch last Tuesday, February 22nd. The main tourist attraction in Christchurch, the Christchurch Cathedral has been destroyed and tourists are being asked to "stay away."
Every little bit helps. It feels good to help others–and to get help when you need it. Humans are social animals and what we do best as a species is to work together. Working together with people affected by a natural disaster through informal aid networks and local caregivers is what our grassroots 100% volunteer Kirwin International Relief Foundation is all about. After five-plus years of disaster relief from the earthquake in Haiti with a local business owner in Port-au-Prince in 2010 to the doing Hurricane Katrina relief in Mississippi with a local school district to helping out with the Andaman Sea tsunami disaster in Thailand in December 2004, we know from experience what it takes to really help people within their local community recover from a disaster with dignity, cultural competence and sustainability.
KIRF is an informal network of experienced Stage 2 disaster relief volunteers, led by Angela or Mark Kirwin, founders of KIRF, who pay their own way. We work with local Good Samaritans and aid professionals in a disaster area to deliver essential living supplies we purchase to those who need them the most. My heart goes out to those with loved ones in Christchurch.