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Te Whai's gift of aroha

 

BY JULIA WADE

Aroha baskets Dec 2018-765With only 22 sleeps left until the big day, the countdown to Christmas is on! Although excitement is beginning to grow, especially for the younger members of the community, it is general knowledge that the festive season can also bring hardship to many families. 


In keeping with the giving spirit of the season and making it easy for locals to help out struggling Mangawhai families, community advocate organisation Te Whai Community Trust (TWCT) has begun their annual food drive, placing aroha donation baskets in several handy locations. 

TWCT volunteer Paula Cotter says throughout 2018 the organisation has given 50 Aroha baskets to families in need and with Christmas coming, demand is increasing. 

“We are asking for donations from the community to put more baskets together. We are hoping to provide the ingredients for a Christmas dinner and more ‘special bits and pieces’, whether its new toys or special outfits, festive treats, decorations or non-perishable food,” she says. “What we want to achieve is for no families to go hungry over Christmas and to bring a little joy to lives where people are struggling.”

Donations can be dropped in the Village at Funky Clothing, St John Op Shop, Mangawhai Kindergarten, and at the Four Square in the Heads. 
 
Social Events Organised
Besides gift baskets, TWCT is also organising two social events for older community members: a morning tea for ‘Grandparents who Parent’ and a ‘Young at Heart Luncheon’, both held on December 12. 

“The lunch is a get-together for older people who might be in need of company and to help them meet others,” Paula says. “It is supported by Te Whai but if you would like to pay for someone’s lunch for this event please contact us. We held the event back in September and it was so well received that we thought another one with good food, festive music and a singalong would be a great way to help people get into the Christmas spirit.” 

The organisation has succeeded with funding for a professional counsellor to be available for Mangawhai Beach School students who need support. 

“If you require help or need assistance with anything, we are here to support and to help put you on to the right track,” Paula says. “If you would like to help out or interested in joining Te Whai, just come in and see us.”

Te Whai is located at the Old Tara Road schoolhouse at Pioneer Village, open Mondays and Thursdays from 9am –12pm, phone 0210  247 8003.






Young at Heart Luncheon, December 12, Mangawhai Museum at 12pm.
‘Grandparents who Parent’ morning tea, December 12, Old Tara Road schoolhouse at 10am.
Te Whai is located at the Old Tara Road schoolhouse at Pioneer Village, open Mondays and Thursdays from 9am –12pm, phone 0210 247 8003   
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