To my friends in Christchurch, my colleagues, my school mates, I need to tell you about a great concept that will help the people of this great city to recover.
In Brisbane’s recent floods, Danielle Crismani realised that homemade food would warm people’s hearts. She didn’t realise that as well as the joy of the recipients, the home bakers themselves would be filled with joy from just being able to contribute, many with young children at their feet.
Danielle started sending tweets with a #bakedrelief hashtag, allowing people to monitor what food was needed and where. And people started cooking. And emergency services workers and displaced residents were thrilled to have more than an army ration pack or a sausage in bread.
Since then, Baked Relief has grown to so much more than that in Brisbane. It’s become a phenomenon and covered by the media. And then Queensland was hit by Cyclone Yasi. Baked relief was needed again and far north Queensland started baking.
When I saw the devastation in Christchuch, I knew Baked Relief would be needed there too, and so did Danielle. She has been working tirelessly to get contacts on the ground to support a wave of homemade goods to people who need them. And by need I mean more emotionally than physically.
I know that jittery feeling that stays with you and peaks with every aftershock. I don’t know how it actually feels to be so relieved at finding loved ones or have your world on hold because you still haven’t found them. But I do know how it feels to be so thankful that your house is still standing when others have lost so much.
I know that many of you are without stable, clean water supplies or sewerage. That’s ok – be with your families and focus on survival right now.
But when the time is right (and it will be soon), if you do have access to power, water and ingredients, I’d love for you to start cooking too. Here’s how it works:
- Visit www.twitter.com
- You dont need to sign up for an account if you just want to read the messages
- Type ‘bakedreliefnz’ in the search bar
- Then you’ll see every current request for help or information for drop off points
- Sweet and savoury foods are needed, preferably finger foods, nothing that needs heating
- Cut into individual servings and the whole lot wrapped together in glad wrap
- With a note in the wrap stating what it is, when it was baked and a list of ingredients (important for allergies).
Baked Relief is about rapidly empowering individuals to contribute. A dozen muffins can shine a huge light into someone’s dark day or lift the spirits of a tired rescue worker. You can learn more about Danielle’s work at www. bakedrelief.org
You don’t need to be USAR trained, a policeman or a council worker to make a difference to the people who need it the most. I’d love you to send me a message when you’ve delivered your first contribution because I know that my hometown is full of everyday, ordinary heros.