Reach out to help others in need
We are blessed in Franklin with a variety of agencies, people and organisations committed to helping our community.
And we have a strong sense of community which was never more evident than during the discussions when it was proposed that Franklin become part of Auckland city.
When I talk about Franklin I mean the old Franklin. Regardless of where arbitrary lines are drawn, communities are formed by people who live there and the way they connect and associate naturally.
Franklin will go from being the least populated ward of Auckland to the most populated within a short space of time.
When a community faces rapid growth in population, we risk losing that old sense of community and we become just another anonymous suburb where everybody minds their own business.
Here is an interesting test. Your child comes home from school and asks you for more food in their lunch box. You naturally ask why. They tell you that there is a new kid in their class who did not come to school with a lunch. They were hungry because it appears there was no breakfast. So your child shared their lunch.
What would go through your mind? Would you be proud of their caring, of their generosity? And would you say so? Then what would you do? Would you say, ‘‘Sure thing dear, no problem.’’ Or ‘‘Sorry darling but that is not our problem, the school will need to sort that out.’’ Or, ‘‘It is tough enough for us without having to take on other people’s troubles.’’
We learn to care because we were taught to care. It is a wellknown fact that volunteers come from families of volunteers.
I remember my parents always doing things for others through the volunteer fire service, through the church and the school. I, as the oldest, having to watch out for my younger brothers. It never crossed my mind there was any other option.
The first thing you would do is acknowledge your child for their compassion and caring. You might even pack another lunch for them to give to their hungry friend. Whether or not you are in the fortunate position to provide more food for your lovely child to share, a bigger problem has been identified.
It would be great if you could reach out. Perhaps you could go meet the parent(s) and introduce yourself. You could say their child was a friend of yours at school and you were coming by to introduce yourself so they could feel comfortable letting their child come to your home to play with your child.
From there it may be you are able to learn more and if not help directly help them connect with those that can help them if things are getting tough. People who aren’t coping often find it hard to ask for help. If you do not feel confident enough doing this, then at least go to school and tell them what is happening. They will know what to do.
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