Send­ing love for Xmas

Rotorua Weekender - - Front Page - Shauni James

Words full of love in a Christ­mas card is all it can take to help make some­one’s fes­tive sea­son that bit more spe­cial, and the Ro­torua com­mu­nity is be­ing en­cour­aged to do just that.

Send­ing Love is a plat­form which helps/en­ables peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties to come to­gether to make a fes­tive ges­ture to­wards an­other per­son who may be lonely over Christ­mas.

Peo­ple write or make a Christ­mas card, which will then be de­liv­ered to lo­cal rest homes.

Key vol­un­teer He­len Brumby says Send­ing Love started in Novem­ber last year by a woman in Auck­land whose 5-year-old son wanted to write a card for some­one who would be lonely at Christ­mas. By Christ­mas, 32,000 cards had been col­lected na­tion­ally and dis­trib­uted to rest homes.

He­len says the re­sponse has been great so far this year. A card­mak­ing ses­sion was held last Satur­day at the Ro­torua Li­brary where peo­ple made 113 cards.

He­len says part of what brought her to the Send­ing Love plat­form was that when her own grand­mother was in a rest home she could have mul­ti­ple vis­i­tors in a day, but some res­i­dents rarely had vis­i­tors.

“Of course we al­ways let them join in on our sto­ry­telling, but it was quite an eye opener. Com­mu­nity is re­ally im­por­tant and we need to make sure that every­body is get­ting love. There are a lot of peo­ple out there who have got love to share.”

They are keen to hear from peo­ple who can de­liver cards.

Brooke Mccann went along to the card-mak­ing ses­sion last Satur­day with her two daugh­ters Clodagh Mccann, 7, and Zoe Mccann, 4.

She brought them along be­cause she also saw when vis­it­ing her grand­par­ents at a rest home that there were peo­ple with no vis­i­tors and it felt lonely.

Brooke says that mail should be all year around too, not just at Christ­mas.

“Every­body loves get­ting mail when it’s not a bill.”

Clodagh and Zoe say mak­ing the cards was fun, with Clodagh’s fea­tur­ing snowflakes and a star, and Zoe’s a rain­bow Christ­mas tree.

“You’re send­ing love to other peo­ple at Christ­mas time.”

The Grey Power of­fice is a drop box lo­ca­tion, and pres­i­dent Miriam Ru­berl says it has been get­ting a great re­sponse, in­clud­ing peo­ple vol­un­teer­ing to de­liver them in per­son.

She says lone­li­ness is some­thing younger peo­ple also suf­fer from.

“It’s all about giv­ing peo­ple the op­por­tu­nity to make con­nec­tions with other peo­ple. Hope­fully this will add a lit­tle bit of some­thing to that qual­ity of ev­ery­day

life at Christ­mas time.”

The dead­line for the cards is Fri­day De­cem­ber 14. For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.send­in­

If you can vol­un­teer mes­sage the Send­ing Love — Christ­mas Cards for those Alone this Christ­mas Face­book page.

He­len thanked the Ro­torua East Lions which is con­tribut­ing fund­ing

for the li­brary ses­sions.

Photo / Stephen Parker

Clodagh Mccann, 7 (left), and Zoe Mccann, 4, have made Christ­mas cards to send love to those lonely at Christ­mas.

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