Generosity makes positive change

The tradition of gift-giving is an important part of the Christmas season for many; it is one way to demonstrate care between friends and family.

While this is the case, the giving of gifts can be a challenge at Christmas, because of the strain it can bring to a family budget that is already extremely tight.

Our Family Works team is particularly busy over Christmas, making sure that food parcels and suitable gifts are distributed to those in need across the region. This year we will work alongside over 200 families to make sure Christmas is a special time.

Much has already happened in recent weeks. Te Rangi Hiroa College students (pictured above) surprised us by donating over 50 gifts in October. The gifts had been selected, purchased and wrapped by students, who chose to make the donation to Family Works in place of giving each other gifts at their annual birthday celebration. This opitimises the generosity of people right across the Otago region.

In late November we ran ‘Stock the Bus’, which saw a Ritchies bus travel around four Dunedin Primary Schools, and several businesses, to collect donations. Students and staff generously donated a selection of toys and food, which will be given out pre-Christmas by our Family Works team. The joy on school children’s faces when they hopped on the bus is just a taste of the delight their gifts will give to the recipients at Christmas.

Family Works Social Work Supervisor Debbie Gelling said, “The generosity of the community means children across the region will wake up on Christmas Day to find there are gifts to open, and something special to eat.”

“Children deserve to feel special at Christmas. For some families this is the first time in a long time where there have been gifts in the home. Others can enjoy the day as a family without the pressure of extra spending, which creates a financial burden for months to come.”

“The willingness by the public to give for this need is what enables this to happen, and the feeling it creates for many families is truly incredible.”

Thank you for your support in 2017. We wish you, and all our supporters, a very happy Christmas and holiday season.