Mission’s mission is for whole year
The efforts of Aucklanders to help make sure struggling families had some kind of Christmas this year is being lauded by the Auckland City Mission.
Queues of people in need of support stretched for hundreds of metres outside the mission in the lead-up to Christmas as the effects of the dire economic climate hit many families.
City missioner Diane Robertson says in December the mission provided more than 2500 emergency food parcels to families in desperate need and ensured 5000 children who may otherwise have gone without received a Christmas present.
More than 2500 people attended the Christmas lunch at the Viaduct Events Centre while the rest of the mission’s services continued to run as usual throughout an extremely busy time.
‘‘We simply could not have achieved any of this without the help of our wonderful supporters,’’ Ms Robertson says.
‘‘Once again the people of Auckland and beyond showed fantastic generosity in helping us reach our fundraising target of $900,000.
‘‘Every cent we receive not only helps us meet the increase in demand over Christmas but also ensures that our services are suf- ficiently funded throughout the year ahead.’’
Also during December the Mission received more than $800,000 worth of food and many thousands of Christmas presents from individuals and local businesses.
Hundreds battled the crowds to drop off donations at the mission’s doors and a team of drivers completed 425 pick-ups in three weeks – an increase of 38 per cent over the previous year.
‘‘The increased demand for our services over Christmas puts great pressure on our resources and these very thoughtful contributions go a long way to alleviating these stresses.
‘‘Our dedicated team of staff work tirelessly throughout this time to meet the needs of everyone who, with no-one else to turn to, look to the mission for help.
‘‘However, we simply could not do our jobs without the wonderful support of so many volunteers.’’
In December the mission was assisted by 1248 people who provided nearly 5000 hours of volunteer time.
Ms Robertson says while Christmas may be over, the need for help does not stop.
‘‘Our homeless, crisis care, social detox, medical and food distribution services will continue to provide assistance to Aucklanders in desperate need . . .’’