Making Xmas happy for others
Every year members of the Havelock North Rotary Club have enjoyed a Christmas gettogether where they bought and handed out gifts to one another.
But for this year’s dinner there was a change of plan, and a change which will now stand for future Rotary Christmas dinner gatherings.
Club president John Pollard asked the club members to bring along a gift — but a gift for the Christmas Cheer Appeal rather than for each other.
The club members were more than happy to oblige, and the result was a great spread of gifts for all ages which delighted Hastings cheer co-ordinator Jo Reyngoud.
“We came away with a car full of gifts,” she said.
“They are a great group of people who were very interested to hear about the appeal and what we did and who we helped.”
Along with the gifts there were also food items.
John said the support for the appeal would now become an annual part of the club’s community efforts.
The cheer car was not the only storage space to be filled up.
Jo said she had filled “all the freezers available” with frozen food items in the wake of cheer supporting company McCain deciding to up the amount of goods for the appeal to close to a tonne.
Several people from the agencies which work in with the appeal had called to take what they could — and had filled their freezers as well.
“Just wonderful — everyone will get some fresh frozen greens in their Christmas parcels,” Jo said.
The appeal had also benefited from the generosity of another local business, The Apple Press.
They dropped off enough bottles of apple juice to ensure all the cheer parcels would have some. A long-time supporter also stopped by with her own gifts.
Jean Pentelow has been knitting great things for the appeal for many years now and called in with colourful and beautiful dolls, blankets and items of clothing to give some parcels a very special touch.
The Napier gift collection was boosted by the skilful efforts of retired cabinetmaker Rod Williams. He called into the Napier office of Hawke’s Bay Today with four boxes of beautifully made wooden puzzles and wooden cars which will add a special touch to many parcels.
There were about 40 pure pine crafted penguins, elephants and rabbits and about 30 t little cars.
He started bringing in handmade items for the appeal a couple of years ago and said he just enjoyed creating something “to make Christmas happy for someone”.
The cash side of the appeal also got a generous boost from the Lioness Club of Havelock North.
They put together $300 for the cheer cause.
Havelock North Rotary club president John Pollard and Hastings cheer coordinator Jo Reyngoud check parcels donated by Havelock North Rotary Club.