South Waikato gifts gen­er­ously

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

Tis the sea­son to be jolly but fi­nan­cial re­straints mean it’s not al­ways easy for many South Waikato fam­i­lies.

Ev­ery year the Sal­va­tion Army co­or­di­nates an an­nual Christ­mas Ap­peal with other lo­cal agen­cies so that those in need also ex­pe­ri­ence the joy of Christ­mas.

The ap­peal in­cludes putting to­gether Christ­mas food ham­pers, gift ham­pers, and Christ­mas Day brunch thanks to do­na­tions.

Toko­roa Sal­va­tion Army corps of­fi­cer Faye Molen said this year’s ap­peal has seen the num­ber of peo­ple of­fer­ing help grow.

‘‘We usu­ally have around 15 busi­nesses but this year we had around 20 fi­nan­cial donors and some of them have dou­bled what they gave last year so that is re­ally cool,’’ she said.

‘‘We sent out let­ters to busi­ness but we have also had peo­ple walk­ing in off the street with gifts be­cause they want to help other peo­ple out and schools have also been mak­ing con­tri­bu­tions.’’

‘‘It re­ally is a de­mon­stra­tion of the com­mu­nity’s gen­eros­ity and love for each other and I thank them for that,’’ she said.

Molen said 100 food ham­pers will be made up fea­tur­ing a chicken, veg­eta­bles, pavlova, and branded soft drinks and chips.

‘‘The fam­i­lies are re­ferred to us by agen­cies in town and this year we have done a bit of an up­grade on the ham­pers so we will be hav­ing real Coke, real Sprite, and pavlova to keep it a lit­tle bit Kiwi,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s just some­thing nice for fam­i­lies to be able to make Christ­mas lunch with.’’

She said the Christ­mas gift ham­pers will be given to those fam­i­lies with chil­dren.

‘‘For a lot of these, Christ­mas is ex­tra pres­sure and they want to cre­ate some kind of nor­mal ex­pe­ri­ence for their chil­dren but they can’t al­ways do that so this is one way of try­ing to pre­vent peo­ple get­ting into debt,’’ she said.

‘‘The presents are all new and there have been all sorts.’’

Molen said some of the fam­i­lies that have re­ceived in the past will be giv­ing back this time around.

‘‘This is about be­ing gen­er­ous so they have ex­pe­ri­enced it them­selves and they want to share it,’’ she said.

The Christ­mas Day brunch will take place at the Sal­va­tion Army Corps in Bal­moral Dr at 10am and book­ings are es­sen­tial. Drink driv­ing Is­sues with al­co­hol are start­ing to flag up a bit with six peo­ple stopped for drink driv­ing.

This is a high num­ber which is not good, es­pe­cially when most of the breath-al­co­hol lev­els were be­tween 450 mi­cro­grams to 900 mi­cro­grams up. The le­gal limit is 250mcg.

Peo­ple need to be think­ing about bet­ter ways of get­ting home af­ter so­cial events and about tak­ing more re­spon­si­bil­ity.

With Christ­mas com­ing up there will be a higher num­ber of us out there so chances are you will get caught if you are driv­ing home drunk. Burglaries We had seven burglaries for the week from which three of­fend­ers were ar­rested.

These in­cluded a 24-year-old male, a 18-year-old male, and a 21-year-old male. All three were ar­rested for sep­a­rate burglaries and all three were lo­cals.

One was ar­rested as a re­sult of a mem­ber of the pub­lic alert­ing us to the area af­ter they saw sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity and the other two were ar­rested as a re­sult of foren­sic ev­i­dence lo­cated at the scene.

All three have been re­manded in cus­tody and will spend the Christ­mas pe­riod in­side as a re­sult. Christ­mas I’d like to wish ev­ery­one a happy and safe Christ­mas.

*Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son.

‘‘It re­ally is a de­mon­stra­tion of the com­mu­nity's gen­eros­ity and love for each other.’’

LUKE KIRKEBY/ FAIR­FAX NZ

Toko­roa Sal­va­tion Army corps of­fi­cer Faye Molen.

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