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Earthquake generosity in Carterton

wta021216gftoys Hundreds of toys donated by children from St Mary’s School Carterton are now destined for the children of quake-ravaged Kaikoura. Carol Mullany, here with husband David Mullany, arranged the collection, which is being distributed by South Island MPs through NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark. PHOTO/GERALD FORD

By Gerald Ford

Children at St Mary’s School in Carterton have given up some of their best loved toys for the children who were rattled by the Kaikoura earthquake.

Principal Tim Nelson said the school community was very generous and had been “asked for a lot lately” with a Carterton Foodbank appeal, the Red and Black Mufti Day appeal, but had responded well to notices on Facebook and in the school newsletter.

“We just got a really, really positive response,” Mr Nelson said.

The toy collection was initiated by Carol Mullany, who has arranged annual blankets and knitting packages to be distributed through a medical centre in Christchurch earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.

“The quake happened on Monday and I left a banana box at the school on Tuesday, Mrs Mullany said.

“And every day it’s been full. The children have given up these. They’ve been well loved.”

Having collected the toys, Carol was unsure how to get them down south, and so she contacted NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark, who plans to arrange distribution through Kaikoura MP Stuart Smith, and Te Tai Tonga (South Island) MP Rino Tirikatene and fellow NZ First MP Richard Foster.

Mr Mark said the toys would be “for children who might find some comfort from knowing that some children in Carterton are thinking about them”.

“I’ve seen these toys, these are not the toys at the bottom of the box that no-one likes,” Mr Mark said.

“Someone has made a real conscious decision to give up something they love for someone else.”

The toys include hand-knitted dolls and animals, as well as some famous faces in Kermit the Frog and Charlie Brown, and even a Beatrix Potter frog with his name (Jeremy Fisher) on his waistcoat.

Close to 300 toys were donated, including some from Catholic churches in Wairarapa.

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