Skids in Xmas spirit

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Heather McCracken

TEN-YEAR-OLD Oliver Owen thinks no one should have to miss out on Christ­mas presents.

“Every­one de­serves to have some­thing at Christ­mas,” he says.

Oliver is among chil­dren from Skids af­ter-school cen­tres sup­port­ing the Auck­land City Har­bour News Christ­mas ap­peal.

They’re col­lect­ing food and toys for the Poverty Action Coali­tion, to help fam­i­lies in need through the fes­tive sea­son.

“We’re see­ing which site can raise the most for chil­dren who aren’t as lucky as us,” Owen says.

Bal­moral Skids man­ager Ada Ber­ry­man says the chil­dren, aged be­tween five and 12, are right be­hind the ap­peal.

“Most un­der­stand what it’s about, that it’s about poverty and chil­dren who can’t af­ford things,” she says.

Eight Skids fran­chises in Auck­land will be col­lect­ing over the next week.

They were among many read­ers to of­fer sup­port af­ter the ap­peal was launched in the Auck­land City Har­bour News two weeks ago.

About a dozen peo­ple also phoned with of­fers of short-term stor­age for the One­hunga-based food­bank.

The best so­lu­tion came from One­hunga com­pany Con­tain­ertech, who of­fered the use of a se­cure ship­ping con­tainer, which will be stored on their site.

Hire and trans­port co­or­di­na­tor Charleen Lit­tle­john says they were happy to con­trib­ute at Christ­mas.

“We’re a small busi­ness and if we can help, es­pe­cially some­one from our own com­mu­nity, then we will,” she says.

“We just rang up and said we can help.”

The com­pany has also do­nated a con­tainer for a year to a Man­gere Scout group who lost their build­ing in a fire.

Food­bank co­or­di­na­tor Bill An­der­son says the stor­age is ideal.

“It means we have an al­ter­nate drop off and pick up point.”

He says they’re grate­ful for the do­na­tions re­ceived so far, but is mak­ing a spe­cial plea for more pet food.

“We get a very lim­ited amount and de­mand is al­ways high,” he says.

“If food is scarce for a fam­ily then the pets miss out.”

The coali­tion would also wel­come spon­sor­ship be­cause a long-stand­ing spon­sor who pro­vides about $4000 a year is very el­derly and is not likely to be able to con­trib­ute in the fu­ture.

Do­na­tions of food and new un­wrapped toys and gifts can be left at the Auck­land City Har­bour News of­fice, Unit 1-3, 72 Do­min­ion Rd, Eden Ter­race, un­til De­cem­ber 17.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Christ­mas cheer: Wrap­ping presents for the Poverty Action Coali­tion Christ­mas ap­peal are Katie Beyer, 8, and Oliver Owen, 10.

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