Cards bring joy to the lonely

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

There’s a sim­ple yet heart­warm­ing way to spread some love in North­land this Christ­mas.

An ini­tia­tive called Send­ing Love is col­lect­ing Christ­mas cards writ­ten by mem­bers of the pub­lic and distribut­ing them to rest-home res­i­dents who might be feel­ing lonely dur­ing the fes­tive time of year.

The na­tion­wide project was launched a year ago by Han­nah Rodgers and her son Jay­den.

Vol­un­teers in com­mu­ni­ties around the coun­try set up drop boxes to col­lect the cards.

Ashleigh Young an­swered the call in Whanga¯ rei this year and has set up a box in Whanga¯ rei Li­brary.

Young says the con­cept is re­ally sim­ple, but re­ally mean­ing­ful.

“For some of these peo­ple get­ting these cards, it’s go­ing to be the only thing that they get.”

There aren’t many rules: The card can be home­made or store­bought, it should be filled with love and doesn’t need an en­ve­lope.

“It doesn’t have to be a long mes­sage, just a sim­ple mes­sage.”

Young said cre­at­ing the cards is sim­ple, doesn’t cost money and can be done by any­body.

In mid-de­cem­ber she will or­gan­ise to dis­trib­ute them to lo­cal rest homes.

She has al­ready got a Whanga¯ rei play­group called Lit­tle Jemz, who have made some cards, on board to help hand them out.

Young doesn’t have a tar­get but is hop­ing for “as many as we can get”.

Drop boxes by other vol­un­teers are pop­ping up in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions and are listed on the Send­ing Love web­site.

So far in North­land, there are boxes at Sim­ply Herbal Health in Maun­gatur­oto, Caro with Love in Man­gawhai, and Kai­waka Four Square, as well as Whanga¯ rei Li­brary. Young said a box has also been cre­ated for cards at Dar­gav­ille High School.

Last year Rodger­swas hop­ing to get a few cards from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to spread a bit more love, but were over­whelmed by more than 32,000 that were cre­ated. There were a few drop boxes in North­land last year. Na­tion­wide she is aim­ing to reach 250,000 peo­ple via rest homes, hos­pi­tals, Women’s Refuge, RSAS, Meals on Wheels, home­less shel­ters and other or­gan­i­sa­tions.

PHOTO / TA­NIA WHYTE

Whanga¯ rei Send­ing Love vol­un­teer Ashleigh Young and her son, Kyle, 1, with some of the cards which have al­ready been dropped off.

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