The St Vincent de Paul (SVDP) Society has launched a National Recovery Appeal to help the increasing numbers of individuals and families struggling from the impact of Covid-19.
The Appeal was launched in June and will run until December. The goal is to raise $4 million to provide people with economic, social and emotional support during these times of severe hardship, says SVDP National President Marlena Hoeft-Marwick.
‘Many of our services have been funded through our Op Shops, which had to close during April and May, resulting in a loss of income of about $1.5 million. At the same time the demands for our services have increased by around 400 per cent and are continuing to increase.
‘The National Recovery Appeal is essential to ensure we can meet the increasing demand for assistance.
‘As a result of economic hardship caused by Covid-19, it is very likely that in the winter months the demand for our services will be greater than ever and will extend to families and individuals who have not depended on our assistance before. We are already seeing an increase in the pool of need.’
SVDP has sent out hundreds of letters to mayors, local body leaders and business CEOs inviting them personally to support the SVDP campaign in their workplaces and local communities. Each month SVDP will approach a new group of civic and business leaders requesting their support. The Society will be promoting the Appeal broadly in the community.
A SVDP National Recovery Appeal website has been developed and supporters are encouraged to donate online at: donate.svdp.org.nz. People can also donate by cheque and bankcard. Donations will be used to provide people with the essentials such as food parcels, clothing, household goods and services, as well as social and emotional support.
‘Funds will be distributed to Vinnies Centres throughout New Zealand so support can be provided locally,’ says Marlena. ‘Our job is to ease the pressure on individuals and families with practical help. That’s what we have been doing for 150 years and we are determined to be there for New Zealand communities during this time of critical need.’
St Vincent de Paul’s National Retail Manager, John Rossbotham said there had already been an upsurge in generosity from the community.
‘During the lockdown period donations to SVDP have increased five-fold on what we would usually receive. I’ve been involved with SVDP for 33 years and I’ve not seen the scale of need which is evident in the Covid-19 environment. I’m confident Kiwis will respond generously to the National Recovery Appeal.’
The National Recovery Appeal has the endorsement of Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington.
‘Covid-19 is creating new layers of poverty and need in our community, and it is vital the St Vincent de Paul Society is able to do the work it has done for decades, and to add to it as new needs emerge
‘I commend the St Vincent de Paul Society for taking proactive steps to ensure that it can continue to help those in need as we all grapple with the needs of our new environment.’
St Vincent de Paul is a registered charity and all donations over $5 are tax deductible.