Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

      BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

LOCKDOWN RESPONSE

COVID-19 saw us go into lockdown with 44 adults and 89 children. We responded by emptying our foodbank and sharing it across all these families. This helped families to maintain their bubbles and limit their need to access supermarkets which was not an easy task with children. To continue to provide the most practical help to families, we have had the unbudgeted cost of buying in food during lockdown to support families.  
We are professionally cleaning all shared areas, learning centre, early childhood centre, and units as they vacate. Another unexpected and ongoing expense.

As an essential service we have remained open throughout lockdown, with staff on rotation, to ensure quality care to meet the family’s needs. I want to acknowledge the staff who stepped in to help keep the service running, also taking on roles that our wonderful volunteers normally undertake, preparing large numbers of food boxes, sorting bedding. This is a huge logistical exercise without the support of our volunteers. 


EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTRE

This has opened under Level two with stringent sanitation procedures. Parents have been appreciative of finally getting a break and the children are delighted to return to a familiar place. Most of our families are coping on a minimum wage or limited income, unemployment or reduced hours has put many under financial stress.  We anticipate a greater call on our support services as more job losses impact family’s financial stability. We have already responded to the call for more warm bedding, clothing and heaters as the weather turns cooler. 

“Thank you for helping us when we needed it the most. Thank you for making us feel better and giving us support. You really made our life better. I mean it from the bottom of my heart.” Karen, 15 years

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GOING DIGITAL UNDER COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the reliance of New Zealanders on the internet for work and study, information, shopping and social connection. Before lockdown we ensured every family was digitally connected. Helping families access the digital world is key to ensure the whole family does not get left behind, especially in these challenging times. We ensured children would be able to connect with their schools online learning and so not be disadvantaged. We will be utilising digital platforms such as Zoom, to continue our Learning centre classes online, connecting with families in the community. 

CHANGES IN BANKING

Our  bank, the BNZ has advised that by July 2021 the use of cheques will be completely phased out. We are therefore encouraging all donors to consider changing to the options of credit card or online banking. A monthly or annual donation can be easily set up with a direct debit or credit card transaction.

COVID-19 has reinforced to us the importance of staying connected digitally. It has also highlighted the cost effectiveness of using emails to communicate. You can support us by providing your email address to receive the newsletter and donation receipt via the internet. We face these challenging times with having had to cancel planned fundraising events. We cannot do this alone. Your ongoing support of De Paul House will ensure vulnerable and homeless families can survive these uncertain times. Together we are better.