Book sale proceeds put to good use
Those who bought books from May’s Red Cross Book Sale have made a telling contribution to resettling former refugees in the city.
Two families from Afghanistan and one from Burma who arrived from the Auckland centre to take up new lives in Palmerston North on Friday, directly benefited from some of the money the annual sale raised.
National Red Cross president Jenny McMahon was in Palmerston North last week for new area council inductions, and accepted the $100,000 cheque from the local branch.
‘‘The book sale is amazing – the local support is phenomenal,’’ Jenny says.
The city’s annual second hand sale event is the second-biggest fundraiser in the country for Red Cross behind the national appeal.
‘‘It’s hard work raising money, and the people who do the work have a say where the money goes locally, nationally and internationally,’’ she says.
‘‘Locally they’ve decided it’s going to provide support for an Afghan refugee; for Curtainbank; the Rise Up teen camp; a small mountain of winter-weight duvets for new families, and new kitchenware and furnishings for three families arriving in Palmerston North from Afghanistan and Burma.’’
The local branch’s Liz Pointer says in the past newly arrived families were given second-hand goods.
‘‘It used to be 100 per cent donated; now it’s 100 per cent brand new.’’
Liz says that where there are curtainbanks offering full-length curtains, there have been significant decreases in respiratory cases.
Nationally, some of the money will go towards disaster welfare support such as the Pillowcase programme for children, and developing trained emergency teams.
‘‘The better prepared people are for a disaster, the sooner they come out the other side,’’ Jenny says.
Money will also go towards refugee family reunification for groups torn apart by conflict and circumstances.
The cheque handover coincided neatly with the arrival of the new refugee families, and the World Refugee Day celebrations at the weekend in the Convention Centre, and on Monday at City Library. And also with National Volunteer Week.
Kukuhtoo Henery from the Karen Burmese group performs during Saturday’s World Refugee Day concert in the Centennial Convention Centre.