Com­mu­nity helps needy fam­i­lies

Waihi Leader - - News - By CAR­MEN HALL [email protected]­hileader.co.nz

Spe­cial Christ­mas food ham­pers and gifts will once again be given to strug­gling fam­i­lies in the district, thanks to the gen­eros­ity of the com­mu­nity.

Ev­ery year the Sal­va­tion Army in Waihi spear­heads the ap­peal to help those who can’t af­ford to cel­e­brate the fes­tive sea­son.

Waihi Corps Ma­jor Wendy San­son says it co-or­di­nated with agen­cies in the area that re­ferred clients in need, and li­aises with St Vin­cent de Paul.

Last year 53 ham­pers were given to fam­i­lies that also in­cluded toys for 123 chil­dren.

Waihi was “blessed” to have such a giv­ing com­mu­nity, Wendy says, and now the Sal­va­tion Army is in col­lec­tion mode along­side its com­mu­nity part­ners.

Peo­ple who want to do­nate could take food items and un­wrapped, new toys to the BNZ, the Sal­va­tion Army or the Sal­va­tion Army Fam­ily Store.

She says new books, games and toi­letries for teenage boys made great gifts but any items would be grate­fully re­ceived.

“I think books and board games are great for any house­hold. We also pro­vide gift wrap­ping pa­per so par­ents are able to see what their chil­dren are get­ting and wrap the presents them­selves.”

In 2017 the food ham­pers in­cluded a chicken, peas, pota­toes, ice­cream, jelly, tinned fruit, a steam pud­ding, cus­tard and ice cream and other treats like lol­lies and fizzy drinks.

“They are pretty sub­stan­tial and enough to last for a few days.”

The Oceana Gold­mine and a num­ber of groups and Trusts also gave gen­er­ous dona­tions which made a big dif­fer­ence, Wendy says.

OceanaGold se­nior com­mu­nity ad­vi­sor Kit Wil­son says it was pleased to as­sist.

“We know that there are fam­i­lies in our com­mu­nity that strug­gle at this time of the year, and we know that the Sal­va­tion Army and sim­i­lar or­gan­i­sa­tions do a fan­tas­tic job in pro­vid­ing much needed help and sup­port.

“We have been pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance to the Sal­va­tion Army and other com­mu­nity groups at Christ­mas for a num­ber of years, and we are pleased to be able to con­tinue to be part of their valu­able work.”

Mean­while Sam Bakker from the Waihi Leader says this news­pa­per has been a proud sup­porter of the Sal­va­tion Army Christ­mas Col­lec­tion for many years.

This year the event had also been given a new twist by in­cor­po­rat­ing the Christ­mas Col­lec­tion with the Waihi Com­mu­nity Christ­mas event on Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 19.

A com­mu­nity-fo­cused event, Waihi Com­mu­nity Christ­mas is a re­tailer-driven pro­mo­tion which plans to re­turn the magic to Waihi’s main shop­ping district by in­volv­ing var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups in at­tempt to ‘give a lit­tle back’ to the many agen­cies who work tire­lessly to sup­port Waihi.

This in­cludes the Sal­va­tion Army and Blue­light Waihi, she says.

A fea­ture would be the Waihi Com­mu­nity Giv­ing Tree that will be cen­trally lo­cated, to cre­ate an easy drop-off point for do­nated non-per­ish­able food items and fam­ily gift items.

The col­lec­tion will pri­mar­ily take place on the night De­cem­ber 19 although Sal­va­tion Army is ac­cept­ing dona­tions be­fore.

Peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to start a Re­verse Ad­vent Cal­en­dar ap­proach this year, she says.

The con­cept in­volves col­lect­ing one sim­ple item each day from now un­til De­cem­ber 19.

It could be a pantry sta­ple, Christ­mas treat or un­wrapped gift item, or gift wrap /card for ex­am­ple.

Pop on over to the Waihi Com­mu­nity Christ­mas Face­book page and join the events for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion and to keep up to date.

www.face­book.com/ wai­hichrist­mas2018

PHOTO / CAR­MEN HALL

Sal­va­tion Army Waihi Corps Ma­jor Wendy San­son hopes the cup­boards will start to fill up soon as it pre­pares to make up Christ­mas food ham­pers and gifts for those in need.

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