‘Tis the season to be jolly’ and what a wonderful time to pay it forward to communities and organisations that could do with a bit of festive cheer these holidays with acts of service and kindness.
There are many places that would love your time and support over the holiday season and below we’ve got a couple ideas of places to get in touch with to get you started.
Tauranga Moana Nightshelter based at 171 Elizabeth Street (next to Tauranga Yoga Centre) is one very special place that needs your help. Providing homeless men with temporary shelter and necessary services to aid them in their day to day lives, this organisation is making such a difference. Christmas is fast approaching. So there are a few things they’d love to be donated to them that will be given to not only current residents, but also homeless outside of the shelter. If you can cook an extra Christmas dish and/or donate a wrapped present on Christmas morning, then please get in touch with Annamarie and her team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annamarie also has these suggestions for gifts to get the ball rolling:
– Gift cards (for places like supermarkets or The Warehouse)
– Toiletries, such as razors, soap, toothbrushes, aftershave (a lot of our guys love Lynx!)
– Sun hats
– Clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts, socks, boxer shorts
– Mobile phone top-up cards
– Basic mobile phones
The Salvation Army is also appealing for help over the Christmas, with donations gathered going directly to those who need it the most. There is not much to celebrate when a family have their heads under water in poverty, and with bills to pay and not much in the cupboards, a little can go a long way. Additionally, their Gifts of Hope website allows those wanting to make a difference the option to directly choose the type of gift/support their donation provides from emergency accommodation and financial mentoring, to a school uniform, food parcel or a festive gift or hamper.
Our local community workers
Don’t forget that come Christmas Day, a lot of professionals that we depend upon such as the Police, Fire & Medical Departments do not get a day off with their loved ones but instead are doing their very best to try to keep us safe & well. We are sure they would appreciate any token of appreciation whether it be some home baking or a simple thank you card any time of the year, but especially now.
Your friends and neighbours
And lastly, according to the 2014 New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS), nearly a million of us kiwis feel lonely every month. Come December, a time of connecting and sharing with our loved ones over the silly season, and that loneliness has the power to increase tenfold.
And everybody else (including our furry friends)
Add to that elderly living alone or who cannot travel to see their family during this time, adults and children spending Christmas day in hospital and of course the homeless community that we mentioned above. We also could not to forget the furry creatures at our local SPCA waiting for new homes this summer.
The power of conversation & connection gives the most special present of all: hope.
We hope we’ve given you a few ideas of places and people to reach out to with your time and support these holidays. Head on over to our Facebook page to tell us yours.