Turn­ing the heat up

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

See­ing kids turn­ing up to school shiv­er­ing has pro­moted a Toko­roa mother to take ac­tion.

So­nia Winikerei has started the Warm Up for Win­ter Toko­roa Ap­peal which is work­ing with lo­cal schools un­til June 23 to col­lect good qual­ity cloth­ing and blan­kets for those in need.

Winikerei said there was a real need within the com­mu­nity.

‘‘I drop my kids off at school in the morn­ing and I see a lot of kids without warm cloth­ing so I thought ‘let’s do some­thing as a com­mu­nity’,’’ she said.

‘‘I am hop­ing to re­duce a lot of The Warm Up for Win­ter Toko­roa Ap­peal takes place un­til June 23. Visit Face­book, email warmup4win­ter@gmail.com or talk to your school to find out how you can get in­volved.

the health risks that we have such as strep’ throat, rheumatic fever, and asthma be­cause a lot of our fam­i­lies can’t af­ford to put the power on or the heater on, if they are liv­ing in a home with no fire­place, and even firewood costs.’’

Af­ter putting the word out via Face­book she formed a com­mit­tee with three other ladies who then got in touch with lo­cal schools and other child fo­cused ser­vices.

‘‘We are aim­ing it at new­born through to in­ter­me­di­ate aged chil­dren and so far 60 per cent of Toko­roa schools have got back to us and they have been noth­ing but pos­i­tive about it,’’ she said.

‘‘Fly­ers have been given out to the schools and how we will fig­ure out which chil­dren get th­ese parcels is through re­fer­rals so if you think your child needs clothes, re­gard­less of where you are fi­nan­cially, this is what this is here for so just go for it.’’

‘‘We are just ask­ing for names, gen­der and size and for pri­vacy rea­sons only my eyes will go on the names,’’ she said.

She said peo­ple can drop off cloth­ing at any par­tic­i­pat­ing school, the Toko­roa Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vices (TCOSS), or at the United Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

‘‘We’re ask­ing for jack­ets, long sleeve tops, pants, jer­seys ,socks, blan­kets, baby cloth­ing and wraps for new­borns, sin­glets, bea­nies, and win­ter py­ja­mas from new­born size to adult large,’’ she said.

‘‘They have to be washed and have no stains or rips. It has to be some­thing you would put on your own chil­dren.’’

Parcels will be dis­trib­uted from June 26-30. Morehu said the Taupo polic­ing area is set to get four, in year one, but that’s four more than he an­tic­i­pated.

‘‘I ac­tu­ally pre­pared my man­age­ment team to re­ceive none of those be­cause Western Bay of Plenty is grow­ing [a lot] and all that comes with it,’’ he said.

‘‘We are thank­ful about [get­ting 69 to 80 in the district over four years] but in say­ing that we are one of the dis­tricts that is well un­der the pump.’’

Morehu made the an­nounce­ment while speak­ing dur­ing the South Waikato District Coun­cil’s meet­ing on Thurs­day and said while he can’t yet an­nounce where the four staff will be lo­cated he said Toko­roa was one area that’s set to ben­e­fit staff wise.

He said new staff will be as­signed to a tac­ti­cal crime unit to help com­bat the likes of metham­phetamine which he de­scribed as one of the main prob­lems the district

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