Ōpōtiki District Council and Emergency Management Bay of Plenty are encouraging people to nominate friends and family who helped out others in the community during the pandemic this year. It is a chance to acknowledge acts of kindness big and small that helped during such an unusual time.
Community Resilience Advisor, Meagan Edhouse, said that the Ngā Whetu o Te Mangoroa / Stars of the Community, was about "celebrating the awesome people in our community that helped us get through the various levels of COVID-19".
"Whether it was something big or small, we just want to acknowledge those acts of service and kindness," Ms Edhouse said.
Nominations go in the draw to win a New World grocery hamper worth $150 (sponsored by the Ōpōtiki Lions Club) and an emergency getaway kit.
Ms Edhouse explained that it was a chance to thank others and acknowledge the difference their actions made. By highlighting these sorts of community interactions, we can see how we all have a role to play in being a resilient community.
"Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and I think when people consider 'heroes' they think of the front line – firefighters, police and medical personnel. And these people are outstanding. But there are other heroes as well – the people who just quietly check their neighbours wood supply if electricity is cut off or do weekly trips to the pharmacy for elderly relatives. It is thousands of these small actions that help a community survive in any sort of crisis.
"Preparing for an emergency is about more than having a well-stocked first aid kit – it is about knowing your neighbours, looking out for others and seeing a need and filling it. That is what we'd like to celebrate with these awards," Ms Edhouse said.
Please make sure you get their permission for the nomination first and that the support they gave was within the Ōpōtiki district and that they live (or operate their business or group) in our district.
or pick up a form from our office, Library or i-SITE.