My desire to give back to New Zealand Red Cross as a volunteer was after the Inangahua Earthquake on the 24 May 1965. At the time, I was living in Christchurch with my husband Colin and our four very young children.

I had a lot of family living in Inangahua at the time because my dad was born there. They were all affected by the earthquake and their homes were badly damaged. People were evacuated from the town by helicopter until it was safe to return home.

They were taken to Reefton which was quite damaged too so my mother, two young brothers, sister, and nieces and nephews came to live with me in Christchurch.

New Zealand Red Cross was amazing during this time. Twice a week the Christchurch office would visit us, bringing napkins, linen, and towels as there were three babies living in the house.

The volunteers were very caring and that kindness has stayed with me for many years. I always wanted to give back what I’d received and many years later I was able to join the Motueka Branch of New Zealand Red Cross. I started as a Shop Volunteer in 1993, which I’ve continued on as for over two decades. 

It was always my greatest desire and I am immensely proud of my involvement with New Zealand Red Cross.

Elaine Wilson is the Motueka Branch President at New Zealand Red Cross, she first joined Red Cross in 1993.  

How to help

There are plenty of ways to get involved with Red Cross, from becoming a member, to volunteering, to completing a Red Cross challenge. Check out this page for some ideas and inspiration.