Remembrance tree ready for donations
Christmas is a time when the loss of loved ones can be keenly felt.
Arohanui Hospice in partnership with Farmers in Palmerston North and Levin, have launched the annual Tree of Remembrance to acknowledge those special people.
Arohanui’s Emma Anderson said until Christmas Eve, Farmers’ customers will be offered a remembrance card in exchange for a donation so they can write a message and have it hung on the tree. The hospice fundraising campaign was officially launched in store last Thursday by Miss Manawatu Michelle Feldberg.
Anderson said two trees, which will be staffed by hospice volunteers, would be accessible out in front of The Plaza entrance to Farmers from Thursday.
Having volunteers to talk with those writing out the cards is unique to The Plaza store.
‘‘People sometimes become tearful, so there is usually a box of tissues kept handy,’’ Anderson said.
Farmers’ Caring for our Communities initiative will also see trees erected in the company’s new Home store on Rangitikei St and at Farmers in Levin. There were additional community trees in set up in Arohanui Hospice shops.
Farmers customers could also add to the Flox Christmas decoration collectibles, with a new Christmas tree bauble by Kiwi designer Hayley King made especially to accompany the campaign.
Arohanui’s Clare Randall said the Tree of Remembrance was a major fundraiser for the hospice.
‘‘It makes a fantastic contribution towards meeting our now $2.5 million shortfall to keep palliative care freely accessible for everyone in our region.
‘‘The first year, the Palmerston North tree raised $23,000.
‘‘Last year it included Farmers in Levin, and thanks to the generosity of the community, raised over $32,000. We’re hoping we can bring in more this year.
‘‘The important thing is that all donations made in this region, including the sales of the Christmas decorations, stay in this region and are given directly to Arohanui Hospice.’’
The remembrance cards and their messages will be collected up and redisplayed at Arohanui during January, before being blessed during a special service at the hospice.
Miss Manawatu Michelle Feldberg at the launch of the Arohanui Hospice Tree of Remembrance at Farmers in The Plaza