When New Zealand went into a country-wide lockdown for four weeks in March, Hawke’s Bay Foundation was contacted by many locals wanting to help those hit with new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Being unable to leave home meant people couldn’t drop food or clothing parcels into food banks or charity shops, so had to think of alternative ways to donate.
Hawke’s Bay Foundation responded quickly by establishing the COVID-19 Response Fund and were humbled by the generous donations received during lockdown. The Fund remains open to receive donations and to date has received more than $60,000.
Hawke’s Bay Foundation Development Manager, Amy Bowkett says she is heartened by the amount of donations the fund has received in such a short amount of time.
“The generosity of Hawke’s Bay people during this time of a global crisis is quite astounding,” Amy says.
“We are honoured to distribute these funds on their behalf to local organisations who are in dire need of assistance.”
The money from the Emergency Response Fund will be distributed to charities hit hardest by COVID-19, during the Foundation’s annual funding round in September.
All completed applications will be reviewed by the Foundation’s Distributions Committee to ensure funds are directed to where they will have the greatest impact on the Hawke’s Bay community, with special consideration going to organisations severely impacted by COVID-19.
“While we don’t yet know how the effect of this pandemic will be felt across vulnerable sectors in Hawke’s Bay, we do know that job losses and strain on resources will see local charities under extreme pressure,” Hawke’s Bay Foundation Chair, Giles Pearson, says.
“Never has the charitable sector been more needed or more vulnerable. They will need our help more than ever before and this fund is a way we can help quickly.”