Red Cross community transport driver John Needham, left, and corporate partnerships and trusts fundraising manager Matthew McCracken with some of the Winter Warmers boxes. PHOTO/PAUL BERRINGTON
One hundred boxes filled with winter essentials will be making their way into Wairarapa homes this week – a “blessing” for whanau in need.
It is the second year the Winter Warmers initiative, spearheaded by New Zealand Red Cross, has been rolled out in Wairarapa.
The initiative is funded by AMI and the Red Cross branch in Wairarapa.
Fifty-four of the boxes have been allocated to Whaiora, while others were allocated to family violence services, IDEA Services, Age Concern, Safer Wairarapa, Te Awhina Cameron Community House, and Connecting Communities.
More than 20 people across AMI, Red Cross, and Whaiora came together last week to pack the boxes, valued at $100 each.
Jo McDonald, the humanitarian development engagement manager for Red Cross in Wairarapa, said the Winter Warmers boxes contained hot water bottles with covers, gloves, beanies, door draught stops, window seals, queen mink blankets, and kids’ pyjamas.
“Mitre 10 were really helpful – they gave us a trade discount, and gave us a lot of beanies as well,” Jo said.
“We also have torches, smoke alarms, and ponchos, all donated by AMI on top of the money they gave us, and Pak N Save gave us a 20 per cent discount for things like tea, oats, soup, Milo, marshmallows, and biscuits.”
Jo said the Red Cross Wairarapa branch also had a knitting group who had donated knitted slippers, beanies, and jumpers.”
Whaiora spokeswoman Jane Ross said the Whaiora team were “thrilled” to be a part of the initiative.
The team involved in packing represented Tamariki Ora and Family Start.
“They work with families and children to try to give children the very best start in life,” Jane said.
“They are so thrilled to be part of this and offer support as well.
“The social workers and Tamariki Ora nurses will actually individually visit homes and present those boxes to families that have been particularly identified as needing a winter care package.”