Help for New Zealand: $10,000 to a Salvation Army Appeal
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Help for New Zealand: $10,000 to a Salvation Army Appeal

Grand Circle South Pacific Associates Lead an Effort to Provide Assistance to Earthquake Victims

On February 22nd of this year, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the Christchurch, New Zealand, region, killing nearly 200 people and causing millions of dollars of damage. It was the second major earthquake to shake New Zealand's second-largest city in just a little over five months. It was also the fourth-deadliest natural disaster in that country's history.

Devastated by the fallout from the disaster, Grand Circle associates in New Zealand quickly reached out to see what they could do to help. In the words of Simon Kay, Grand Circle's Regional General Manager, South Pacific, "You can't look at a beautiful city like Christchurch in ruins and not want to help the people who were affected by it." Together with Grand Circle Program Director Rosie Stewart, he began investigating where donations might do the most good.

The organization they selected for support was the Salvation Army Canterbury Earthquake Appeal. Canterbury is the region where Christchurch is located—and the epicenter of the earthquake. "The Salvation Army is one of the first organizations you think of in a crisis like this," says Rosie. "They really excel at giving aid and comfort to people whose lives have been turned upside down."

The Salvation Army set up the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal to provide, not only immediate assistance to those in need, but also ongoing recovery efforts. These efforts include helping victims become more independent and helping the city address its medium- and long-term needs.

In response to the passionate appeal of Simon and Rosie, Grand Circle Program Director Bob Wilkinson was given a $10,000 check from Grand Circle Foundation to present to the Salvation Army Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

"It's the kind of thing that makes me proud to work for Grand Circle," says Simon. "I like being part of a company that really cares about the people of the communities we visit."

Featured in our May 2011 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.