Plea for blan­kets gets huge, warm re­sponse

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALASTAIR LYNN

A call for blan­kets has been met with an avalanche of warm fuzzies.

Vol­un­teer Claire An­der­son of the non-profit Auck­land Dream Cen­tre put out a call for blan­kets to help fam­i­lies through win­ter.

Moun­tains of blan­kets, clothes, food, pil­lows and even couches have been do­nated to the Water­view-based cen­tre in re­sponse.

An­der­son, from Herne Bay, vol­un­teers at the cen­tre be­cause she wants to change Auck­land for the bet­ter.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing that amount of help we’re get­ting,’’ she says.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion helps fam­i­lies in need across Auck­land. Its Adopt-a-Block pro­gramme se­lects a school as a base to learn the needs of a com­mu­nity and the best way of pro­vid­ing help.

‘‘I wanted to do some­thing that makes a change and this struck home to me as a new way of do­ing it.’’

Since putting out the call for help on June 14, the Dream Cen­tre has re­ceived more than 100 blan­kets, 4000 food items and moun­tains of cloth­ing.

How­ever An­der­son says this is just the tip of the ice­berg.

‘‘We’ve had a lot of do­na­tions but we need a lot more,’’ she says. ‘‘The peo­ple that know we want help re­spond re­ally well. There’s just a lot of peo­ple that don’t know how they can help.’’

The Auck­land Dream Cen­tre has been op­er­at­ing since 2006. Do­na­tions are cur­rently go­ing to com­mu­ni­ties based around Wes­ley Pri­mary School in Mt Roskill and Onepoto School in North­cote.

‘‘We set up at a school with food, cloth­ing and blan­kets, then peo­ple can come and help them­selves,’’ cen­tre di­rec­tor Moira Brown says.

‘‘Kids show­ing up with no shoes and no lunch is a huge sign that some­thing needs to be done.

‘‘We want to re­write the Auck­land story.’’

Brown says she sees fam­i­lies show­ing up ev­ery day need­ing a help­ing hand to get them through.

‘‘It’s not like they’re like that all the time, but there is al­ways a need,’’ the Mt Welling­ton res­i­dent says.

‘‘[Do­na­tions] have started build­ing mo­men­tum. We’re ac­tively try­ing to change the com­mu­nity.’’

Visit dream­cen­tre.org.nz for more in­for­ma­tion or to make a do­na­tion.

Photo: ALASTAIR LYNN

Dream Cen­tre di­rec­tor Moira Brown, left, and vol­un­teer Claire An­der­son have been in­un­dated with do­na­tions.

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