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Menz Shed making a difference in Ukraine

 

Bob Chambers, Lucy Rhodes [Red Cross], Mac McIvor, Tom Bateman, Ron Allan, Cheryl Ferguson, and Paul Dodge. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

MARY ARGUE
[email protected]

A recent $4000 donation to the Red Cross shows wallets are opening to help people in Ukraine.

Greytown Menz Shed secretary Bob Chambers said the community’s response to the shed’s recent Ukraine fundraising drive was fantastic.

“We were just blown away. Never seen donations like it.”

The Menz Shed handed over a giant $4000 cheque to the Red Cross last week after a two-month fundraising effort.

Determined to do their bit to help people affected by the war, the shed announced earlier this year that 100 per cent of its income for “make and mend projects” in May would go directly to the Red Cross Ukraine appeal.

Chambers said once word got out, jobs started coming in thick and fast.

He said the response was such that work started “piling up”, and they made the call to extend the drive until the end of June.

“We usually just ask people to give whatever they’re comfortable with, so it could be $20 for pushing out dents or sharpening a box of tools.

“But when we told them it was for the Ukraine appeal, people were handing over $50, $100.

“We had $500 for refurbishing some steps, and one person gave $1000.”

Chambers said some people had made out outright donations.

Before the Ukraine appeal, the largest fundraiser for the shed was a twice-yearly tool sharpening drive.

Chambers said the drive typically raised $700-800 at $2 a tool.

The money raised would go into running the shed or towards bigger projects such as the newly built shed on the West St site.

“But when it comes to Red Cross, the game changed, and people just opened their wallets,” Chambers said.

“It’s the biggest single fundraiser.

“And it’s for a just cause. They have been dealt a very nasty blow.”

Greytown Menz Shed chairman Tom Bateman said the shed was blown away by the generosity it had received.

Red Cross community fundraising coordinator Lucy Rhodes, who received the Menz Shed cheque, said she did not anticipate a donation in the thousands.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting that much.

“It really speaks to the strength of the community and the respect the community has for the Menz Shed, and hopefully, their trust in Red Cross to help the people in Ukraine.”

She said 100 per cent of the donation would be directed to international Red Cross organisations helping people on the ground in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Rhodes said the response from New Zealand had been overwhelming but in a good way.

“I can’t put a number on it, but it’s been incredible.”

She said schools and community groups, such as the Menz Shed, had stepped-up nationwide to support Ukraine.

The Red Cross Ukraine appeal has no end date. To donate visit: redcross.org.nz/donate/ukraine-humanitarian-crisis-appeal/

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