Motat helps out
Visitors to Motat in the lead-up to Christmas have made a big difference to children who might otherwise have not seen much festive joy this year.
Each year Motat runs a present drive where it invites customers to donate a gift instead of paying an entry fee.
This year presents have been donated to Barnardos for children who are spending the season away from their families.
Motat began distributing the gifts last week and marketing manager Deanna Wharton says it is something the museum is happy to do.
‘‘Motat takes pride in being a community-oriented organisation, which includes educating young Kiwis and engaging in activities like this,’’ she says.
‘‘Last year we donated more than 6600 gifts to charity thanks to the support of our visitors and we are hoping to attract just as much support this year.’’
Among those getting a helping hand is transition foster mum Angela, who is looking after a baby girl until a family member is able to take over caregiving.
Barnardos supports Angela in this work and to be able to provide some assistance in the form of a present for the little girl, who will be having her first Christmas this year, goes a long way.
‘‘It’s beautiful to have little gifts,’’ Angela says. ‘‘ A lot of kids have a rough start so this makes it extra special, especially on her first Christmas.’’
Barnardos foster care social worker Dean Banks says the help from Motat is critical.
‘‘It’s always an issue for us and we survive at times like Christmas on the generous gifts from businesses and the community.
‘‘Without help we wouldn’t be able to share the Christmas spirit with the children in our care.’’
Much needed: Motat marketing manager Deanna Wharton, left, delivers presents to Barnardos transition foster mum Angela, her kids Clare, 6, and Catherine, 2, and a baby she is looking after for a couple of months.