The ‘ho, ho, ho’ of Christmas does not happen for many of our most vulnerable and impoverished Kiwi kids. Just getting a decent meal won’t happen, let alone the thrill of a Christmas gift. For many, Christmas is just super stressful. There are so many added expenses, and if things are going wrong, tensions build and wellbeing becomes an even greater risk for our little ones.
Our generous community donates over 1600 gifts every year in the spirit of manaakitanga… but we also need help with funding the Kai Boxes (food parcels).
The last couple of Christmases we’ve been able to supply Kai Boxes to 400 whānau – that’s been between 1200-1300 tamariki (children). This year, our Partner pre-registrations have nearly doubled. Yes, doubled!
We are often asked, “How do you pick the families?” The answer is, “We don’t. Our Partner agencies identify the families most in need.” Our Partners include: Police, Women’s Refuge, Plunket, Hospice, Iwi social services, health and education providers. This is important. They are qualified and resourced to provide additional wraparound support as needed. By working together, we can all do so much more.
Reports from our Partners include:
“A lot of times during family harm incidents people are dropped off to stay with friends or family members so that they are in a safer environment. Giving them a food pack so that they are not looked at as a burden is so helpful for everyone’s wellbeing.”
“Arriving unexpectedly to an at-risk home laden with kai and gifts gives us an opportunity to build relationships….which may help prevent harm.”
“There was a particular whānau who said, “This is going to help us big time over Christmas, thank you so much for thinking of us”, and another who said “Wow, I am so grateful there are toys included, I was wondering how I was going to be able to buy my babies Christmas presents”. To hear these comments knowing what these whānau have faced and continue to face, is a very humbling experience.”
YOUNG PARENTS EDUCATOR:
“Student was staying with her partner. She is very young and is on a very tight budget. Having the food and presents has meant that she felt like a good Mum this Christmas. The present was perfect for her son.”