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