Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giving Back and Rebuilding our City :)

Boy it is hard to find the time to blog. It's all up here in my head but it's been so busy the last couple of weeks that I haven't had time to sit down and write. But here I am and here are the words :)
I talked in an earlier blog about being involved in a couple of really exciting projects. One I have been able to be there at the launch and see it take wings and with the other I've come on board part way through but still very exciting!

It's been a year of change! The face of our city has changed and many of us have had to change jobs. I'm underway in a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. I've got my awesome job one day a week at Livingstone Business Consultants and I've been working part-time in a school with a beautiful young girl called Maia. She is 6 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. Maia has taught me so much about non-verbal communication and about not giving up when you think it's all getting a bit tough. It takes Maia 10 times as long to do the simplest task and if she really wants something she perseveres until she gets there. You're amazing Maia and I'm looking forward to seeing you next year.

In my spare time though I have the privilege of volunteering with two organisations committed to making a difference in the Rebuild of Christchurch. The first is simply that "Rebuild Christchurch Foundation". An amazing young man called Deon Swiggs launched this website a few days after the September 4, 2010 Earthquake, as a central place to be able to get all the information you needed to cope and move ahead after the event. It has continued to grow providing an incredible service after the February 22nd earthquake and all the after shocks. Out of the company, the Charitable arm of the organisation has emerged and I have been lucky to be included as a part of the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation. Last week we launched "Project Christmas" to provide those who are struggling financially because of the Earthquakes, with a bit of Christmas Joy. Check us out at http://www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz/project-christmas and if you know a family who is facing a bleak Christmas then nominate them here or you can make a donation. This week we get to go shopping and buy heaps of toys and Christmas goodies and deliver them to people who otherwise will not be able to afford to celebrate Christmas this year. How lucky am I??

The other organisation I have been volunteering for is Canterbury Affordable Sections. This is the brainchild of my brother Simon who has been working with Glenn to be able to provide sections for those in the Red Zone of Christchurch who do not have enough value in their existing property to be able to buy a new section to rebuild their houses. More Rebuilding of Christchurch! There's a common theme here :)
You can check out our website http://www.canterburyaffordablesections.org.nz/. I came on board as the Trust was about to be launched and I got to set up the website. We're sticking with the affordable theme and haven't spent a lot on the website. Like Rebuild Christchurch, everyone who is associated with this initiative is a volunteer. Good people donating their time to be able to help those to whom nature has dealt a cruel blow.

I've loved some of the jobs I've had in the past but I don't think I have ever been as fulfilled in my work as I feel right now. I love this city that I grew up in and it's feels good to be able to give a little back as Christchurch takes small steps towards recovery.

I've seen comments coming in to both organisations of how grateful people are that someone is looking out for them. That someone is trying to make their lives a little easier and providing solutions to tremendous problems.

I am loving working alongside these inspirational people who have tremendous vision. I am loving being halfway to ninety and being in the right place to see all the opportunities that have come my way recently. Because of the changes this year, I've been able to grab these opportunities with both hands and hit the ground running. It's going to be exciting to see how these two organisations grow and continue to help this amazing city get back on it's feet. I wonder what 2012 is going to bring?

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