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An Idea to Help Christchurch

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 07:53 AM

For the past day and a half I have been glued to my computer screen watching streaming news coverage of the tragic earthquake that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand. I want to help, but I’m living in America. Then I had an idea that maybe I could help people in the web industry so they could help themselves and others there on the ground. This is a letter to Christchurch web designers.

Dear Web Designers & Developers in Christchurch,

The first thing that needs to be said is to all Canterburians and Kiwis at large and is that my heart goes out to you all affected by the tragedy of the earthquake. My prayers are for you and your loved ones, and my thoughts are with you all. I lived in Christchurch for a short time, but even being only a temporary resident it is heartbreaking to watch the news coverage. I’m still waiting to hear about the safety of a couple of friends. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to walk through what you are experiencing.

I want to help, but what can I do some 12,000km away? I can’t move rubble, I can’t offer housing, I can’t make you a hot meal, or even give you a comforting hug and shoulder to lean on. I’m not really even in a position to help much financially, though I am going to try to see if I can give to the Red Cross.

So what can I do? I don’t know, but here’s an idea. I’m just going to throw it out there and we can work out the “how.” I’m a web designer and developer. I don’t have a huge workload currently. Last I heard 50% of Christchurch was out of power and of course the CBD is closed down. Maybe I can help out those of you who are in the web industry by helping you complete your projects. Maybe you had client work that was supposed to be done in the next couple of weeks. Even if you have your laptop out to an Internet connection, my guess is work will not be full steam ahead for a while, and probably shouldn’t.

That’s my idea then. Can I help any Christchurch web agencies or freelancers with immediate needs? Maybe just taking some of the workload will give you the chance to go spend time with your mum or help your neighbors. Some of my friends in the New Brighton area were asking for help getting their house and yard in order. I’ll handle some of your web projects, you take care of yourself and neighbors. Who knows, maybe others in the industry around the world will step forward too.

Details? I don’t know, let’s not worry about that. This is about how I can help the country and city I consider my second home while I’m still in America. I’ll be over for a visit in a few weeks and hopefully I can help in other ways then. For now, this is all I’ve been able to come up with.

There’s a contact form here you can reach me at or on Twitter @philiprenich

With lots of love,


Paul L said

Hi Philip

Just wanted to thank you for your fabulous offer.  Enough of Chch is up and working atm that I think most people will be able to find the resources they need. But just wanted to let you know that your offer *is* being circulated in the local tech community, just in case.


On 02/23 at 12:01 PM

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