What an amazing community we live in. The gifts that you, the community, gave for families that may have otherwise not had any presents last Christmas were incredible. Special thanks to Mahurangi Matters and Ray White Bogue, who collected the gifts. To the people who dropped gifts into Homebuilders Family Services and the donated money that was used to buy New World vouchers, it was all most gratefully received. It is in these times that we have to really appreciate that we live in a special area, where people are generous, not only in material goods, but generous in spirit. The volunteers, who organised the Christmas food boxes, ‘thank you’. Christmas is meant to be a magical time of the year and the generosity shown did make it magical for a lot of children who might not have had much for Christmas, and even adults received gifts!
Now we are in a New Year, a new beginning and that brings hope. As a community let’s continue this year with that generous spirit. If you ever have a pantry clean out, and have a lot of food left over, the Food Bank is always grateful for food to put into food parcels. The local op shops always need good clothes, shoes, sheets and towels, which are all useful for families. But generosity of spirit can also be having a chat with someone who looks like they are down on their luck or lonely.
People on benefits are not there by choice. Many are very keen to work; they have just lost their confidence. If you know of someone who may need their garden tidied up, for example, and a person needing work, even if it is only for a week, linking the two needs adds to that wonderful community mindedness.
Homelessness is still a problem in our community. Homelessness is not just people who don’t have a roof over their heads, it is also about families having to sleep on other people’s couches or in their garages. Within this community, our rents are high and there are not enough houses to rent. If you have an unused sleep-out or a flat underneath not being used, please consider renting this out, as this would help a lot of people.
Sometimes people just need a smile and a ‘hello’ to brighten their day. Thank you all from Homebuilders Family Services and again, on behalf of the families that received Christmas gifts, thank you. May 2017 be a great and prosperous year.