The joy that a simple Christmas card can bring is something that Daveena Gornall of Red Beach has seen for herself, many times.
Last year, Daveena coordinated the Sending Love initiative on the Hibiscus Coast.
Sending Love started last Christmas – the brainchild of North Shore resident Hannah Rodgers. The idea is for people to write Christmas cards, which are then distributed to those who may be alone at Christmas, including in local rest homes, community support organisations such as Women’s Refuge, homeless shelters and hospitals. It was a runaway success, with 32,000 cards distributed around New Zealand.
It took Daveena and her three young daughters three days to hand deliver cards at all the local rest homes last year. She says one reason it took so long was the hugs and kisses given to her and her children, the cups of tea and Merry Christmas wishes shared.
“The best part was to meet the recipients and share the Christmas love,” Daveena says.
Buoyed by last year’s success, the organisation is hoping that as many as 250,000 cards will be made and distributed NZ-wide, this year.
Jo Hayes of Stanmore Bay, who is coordinator for the Hibiscus Coast this year, says all the cards made locally will be delivered locally.
There are many ways to get involved – from writing cards to providing a drop off zone or volunteering time to deliver cards.
Local kindergartens, schools and groups such as Scouts and Guides are invited to get behind the project. So far, Red Beach and Silverdale and Kingsway Schools, as well as Orewa Guides are writing cards.
The cards can be home made or bought. Once they have been written, cards can be placed in boxes around the community – box locations include Hoyts Hibiscus Coast in Whangaparāoa, AMI Silverdale and Mike Pero real estate in Orewa.
Collection began just a few weeks ago and closes on December 9.
“We know the timeframe is tight, but last year the Hibiscus Coast community really got behind this cause, and we hope we can do even more this time and help spread joy at Christmas,” Jo says.