Please find below a letter from District 9970 District Governor John Driscoll and the Presidents of the Riccarton, Ferrymead and Linwood/Woolston Rotary Clubs.

Dear Fellow Rotarians, 

Firstly, we would like to thank the many individual Rotarians and clubs within New Zealand, across the Tasman, and around the world for your response to this call for support after the tragic shootings in Christchurch on March 15th. 

This all developed rather spontaneously, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We have of course anticipated that written acknowledgements and receipts are essential, and a spreadsheet of donors has been maintained which we will process as soon as possible. 

As this evolved it quickly it became clear that the support from Rotary would be required in two key stages; responding to immediate need, and establishing a longer term fund in which Rotary and leaders within our local Islamic community will work together in providing continued support into the medium and long term. 

Over the past couple of weeks, a number of Rotarians including myself have been volunteering at the Support Centre and Hub set up at Hagley Park by the city council and local Muslim leadership, to provide a place for victims and effected families from that community to seek support and access immediate help. 

Through this we have been able to get to know key people and undertake a degree of diligence with regards to the level and types of need required and how best to distribute this. 

We have also seen how absolute and devastating the trauma associated with this event has been and the stories heard will stay with us for a long time to come. 

We have closed an effective "stage 1" of this appeal at $50,000 which is being handed over to the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust (coordinating direct support to victims and families via the support hub based at Hagley Park). Today we are handing over $25,000 in grocery, petrol and taxi vouchers and a further $25,000 in cash into a medium-term fund run by that trust to provide counselling and psychological support in a culturally appropriate way.

Last Saturday morning a number of Rotarians from District 9970 responded to an urgent call for help to provide groceries for food and care packages to the tune of $1600 from the fund. The centre had run out of food after a sudden influx of families seeking help after the national memorial service the Friday before. Many had ventured out of their houses for the first time since the shootings. 

There are still significant funds remaining and there are numerous clubs who have pledged or expressed interest in contributing but would like to contribute to more of a "legacy" fund. 

A structure is being developed for this using the relationship we have established with the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust. There are discussions occurring with an established Rotary Trust in Christchurch with a view to using their structure and a separate grants committee comprised of Rotarians and representatives of the Muslim community. The scope for the committee is still to be finalised but will include supporting children and young people whose parents have been killed for education and vocational training needs, recreation, sport and other activity-based needs, along with other levels of support required into the medium and long term as determined with our friends from that community. 

For those individuals and clubs who would now like to contribute to this we would ask that you make your donation now. 

The details are: 

03- 0823- 0350538- 00. 

Bank Branch Account Suffix 

For donations from outside NZ, the Bank is "Westpac", the Branch is "Riccarton". 

The Bank's address is 129 Riccarton Road, Riccarton, 

Christchurch 8041, New Zealand.