Great char­ity aims to put smiles on chil­dren’s faces

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

Not ev­ery boy and girl will be wak­ing up to a tree crowded with presents this Christ­mas Day.

But a gi­ant Kid­sCan pressie drop in Pon­sonby to­mor­row is a chance to give more of them a Christ­mas to re­mem­ber.

The Kid­sCan Char­i­ta­ble Trust will be col­lect­ing presents at West­ern Park as part of the Pon­sonby Christ­mas Party, or­gan­ised by the Pon­sonby Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.

A truck in the park will be the drop-off point for any­one want­ing to do­nate a present to the pri­mary-aged chil­dren Kid­sCan sup­ports through schools by pro­vid­ing cloth­ing and food.

Kid­sCan gen­eral man­ager Julie Hel­son says presents re­ceived will be dis­trib­uted through schools by teach­ers who can iden­tify which chil­dren are not likely to be get­ting any presents this Christ­mas.

“It’s a nice way for them to feel like they’re not ex­cluded from the cel­e­bra­tions,” she says.

Pon­sonby Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral man­ager Justin Bade says the as­so­ci­a­tion chose Kid­sCan as its char­ity of choice this Christ­mas be­cause it wanted to work with a fresh, en­er­getic char­ity where they can see re­sults hap­pen­ing.

“They’re a great, ac­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion with some great pa­trons.”

He says West­ern Park will be filled with fun ac­tiv­i­ties for kids, in­clud­ing an ap­pear­ance from Santa, a bouncy cas­tle, face-paint­ing, sausage siz­zle, per­form­ers and bal­loon artists from 2pm.

The Pon­sonby Christ­mas Party will run from 10am along Pon­sonby Rd with mar­kets run­ning into the evening and en­ter­tain­ment on the street un­til late.

Peo­ple can drop off their wrapped presents, with a la­bel say­ing whether it is suit­able for a boy or girl and an ap­prox­i­mate age.

Mr Bade says he hopes to make the Christ­mas Party and the pressie drop a reg­u­lar an­nual event for Pon­sonby. Sum­mer has come early for over-65s at Mo­tat.

Un­til March, Auck­land res­i­dents with a Su­per Gold Card can ex­plore the mu­seum for free.

Mu­seum di­rec­tor Jeremy Hub­bard says the spe­cial is a way of ac­knowl­edg­ing how im­por­tant res­i­dents over 65 are to Mo­tat.

“It’s also an op­por­tu­nity for them to come and re­live the good old days,” he says.

The spe­cial runs un­til March and is not avail­able on week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 0800 MO­TAT NZ.

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