Over the last week, amidst so much tragedy, I am sure we have all been witness to tiny miracles of incredible importance, small acts of great courage and kindness, and immense love – in all its forms – generously given without hesitation.
Many, like myself, are asking “What can I do to help?”. For those of us who have evacuated the city, and others around New Zealand (and the rest of the world, for that matter) who were not there to feel the ground shake but still grieve with us, we may watch the news and wonder what we could possibly give that could match the heroic efforts of those lifting bricks, shoveling silt, tending to wounds.
Everything we do for each other counts. Nothing is too small or too insignificant. So with that in mind, here are some suggestions of how you can help:
- Offer your arms, and wrap them tightly around anyone who accepts your embrace.
- Offer your ears. People need to tell their story, to share how they are feeling, to be heard again and again and again.
- Offer your voice. Make phone calls on behalf of those overwhelmed or mute with shock. Be their personal assistant, their advocate. Help them to organise the details of their life, so they experience as little stress as possible.
- Offer your heart. Serve out love like food and water. Stay patient with those of us who behave like bratty, tantrum-throwing toddlers or sulky, monosyllabic teenagers. We just need lots of reassurance, lots of compassion. We need to know we are loved.
And finally, remember to keep giving these things every day for as long as you can give them. Those affected by the Christchurch quake will need you for weeks, months and years to come.
Thank you for being our heroes.
- Health and welfare advice from the Ministry of Health
- Canterburyearthquake.org.nz – combined information from the Christchurch City Council and Ecan
- Follow @christchurchcc on twitter
- Civil Defence – all the latest information – updated regularly