Porirua Bel­ly­ful hits an­other mile­stone

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - BLAIR TEESDALE-MOORE

‘‘It's about some­one caring enough to turn up’’

It’s not often the Bel­ly­ful Porirua vol­un­teers de­liver to one of their own, but that’s just what hap­pened to Nicole Bar­low.

Bel­ly­ful is an or­gan­i­sa­tion that de­liv­ers pre­cooked meals to fam­i­lies with new­borns or ill fam­ily mem­bers and Bar­low, a long-term vol­un­teer, re­cently re­ceived a meal de­liv­ery from the very women she works along­side.

‘‘It was spe­cial for them to come over af­ter I had my daugh­ter,’’ Bar­low said.

Just a few days later Bar­low was out de­liv­er­ing meals to an­other mother, Kath­leen Leathem, whose birth did not go as planned. Af­ter an emer­gency C-sec­tion, Leathem wasn’t pre­pared for not be­ing able to drive for six weeks.

‘‘It was re­ally nice that some­one out there was think­ing of us,’’ Leathem said. ‘‘We were go­ing through a bit of a tough time.’’

Some­times see­ing a friendly face can make all the dif­fer­ence at a stress­ful time, Leathem and Bar­low agreed. They are just a few of the peo­ple who have ben­e­fit­ted from Bel­ly­ful’s ser­vices.

‘‘We kick in when peo­ple don’t have good fam­ily sup­port or whanau around them,’’ Bel­ly­ful Porirua’s branch co-or­di­na­tor, Re­becca Mo­ra­han, said.

The branch is cel­e­brat­ing reach­ing 7,000 meals de­liv­ered since it be­gan in 2011.

‘‘To me, it shows the amount of sup­port we have in the com­mu­nity to be able to achieve that,’’ Mo­ra­han said.

Bar­low, who is also Bel­ly­ful Porirua’s fundrais­ing man­ager, said us­ing the ser­vice made her re­alise how im­por­tant it was to ‘‘give back.’’

‘‘It made me re­alise how much you ac­tu­ally do need a hand when [ba­bies] are lit­tle.’’

Bel­ly­ful Porirua de­liv­ered an av­er­age of 131 meals a month and re­cent sta­tis­tics show it’s only in­creas­ing. But Bar­low notes, ‘‘it’s about the sup­port, not in­come or where you live.’’

‘‘It’s just as re­ward­ing to de­liver to a fam­ily with lots of chil­dren who are strug­gling as it is to de­liver to some­one in Whitby who might be fi­nan­cially okay.’’

Mo­ra­han said to give back to one of their own vol­un­teers is a nice feel­ing.

‘‘Nicole has sin­gle-hand­edly fundraised thou­sands of dol­lars, so it was re­ally lovely to be able to help her out when she needed it.’’

Mo­ra­han said the ser­vice can be summed up in one sim­ple phrase - ‘‘It’s about some­one caring enough to turn up’’.

PHOTO: BLAIR TEESDALE-MOORE

Kath­leen Leathem with daugh­ter Chelsea, the re­cip­i­ents of a Bel­ly­ful meal. Re­becca Mo­ra­han

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