After Cyclone Gabrielle hit the country, people from the Sikh community started messaging their group chat asking what they could do to help.
In Manawatū, representatives of the Palmerston North Sikh community donated $3000 and had a truckload of goods ready to be taken over to Hawke’s Bay.
On Wednesday, six members of the Palmerston North Sikh Society took a day off from work and travelled to the affected areas to deliver the donations.
Representative Upmeet Singh Sodhi said it was a collegial effort where everyone in the 300-people-strong community in Palmerston North chipped in as they could.
“Right after the flooding, the whole country is trying to play its part. We just wanted to help as well,” Sodhi said.
In the trip co-ordinated by the Takanini Sikh temple in Auckland, canned food, rice, cereals, nappies and clothes were taken to the affected areas.
The six people drove two and a half hours on State Highway 2 and “went to five different places to deliver food and other essential items”, Sodhi said.
The group visited the Environment Centre and the Show Ground in Hastings, two different centres in the Eskdale Valley and the Puketapu School.
When they reached their destination, they found the community in Hawke’s Bay welcomed the support and the co-ordinators of the community hubs knew “exactly what they need and what they don’t need”.
Sodhi, who is an insurance broker in Palmerston North, said everyone worked hard in what was a collective effort
“It’s a Sikh community effort and the whole community got together. We share whatever resources we can find.”
Sodhi said apart from a few boxes of clothes, everything else from the truck had been distributed.