Collecting for the community are Whangaparaoa Police, clockwise from back, left, Snr Constables Bernie Watt and Bryan Ward, Sgt Nick Herd, Constables Dane Myburgh and Jasmin Burgess. Front, from left, Snr Constable Mike Brown and Watchhouse Officer Charlotte Jones.
Last year, Whangaparaoa Police’s inaugural collection of Christmas food was a big success, with 20 families benefiting from the generosity of Hibiscus Coast residents.
Watchhouse officer Charlotte Jones says the gratitude from recipients was touching.
“Several shed tears,” Charlotte says. “Parcels were made up to suit each person’s needs, and we received comments like ‘I can now spend money on presents for the children’.”
Over the year Police attend homes where low income families, elderly people and beneficiaries are barely coping.
In an effort to reduce stress over this busy period, as well as spreading some good cheer, food parcels will again be delivered by Police at Christmas to these vulnerable people.
Police are asking the community to drop off non-perishable ‘luxury’ items into the collection boxes at Whangaparaoa or Orewa Police stations.
Waitemata North officer in charge of youth and community, Sgt Nick Herd, says recipients included recently widowed parents who can feel isolated at this time of year.
“The festive period can be especially difficult and these small gestures remind people that they are part of a wider community that cares and wants to reach out to them. A small gesture can have an immeasurable impact,” he says.
He says this is also an opportunity to show children that Christmas is as much about giving as it is about receiving.
“Encourage children to choose a luxury grocery item to donate as you do your weekly shopping – things like confectionary, biscuits, dried fruit, chips, spreads, coffee, cake mixes or special sauces. Giving unselfishly generates good feelings and is an important reminder that every community needs to help those who are less fortunate than themselves.”