More FM’s Tom Sexton and Tranzit’s Vaea Peterson on one of their final runs for Pack the Bus. PHOTO/GRACE PRIOR

GRACE PRIOR
grace.prior@age.co.nz

The Pack the Bus Christmas appeal wrapped up on Friday.

More FM promotions manager Tom Sexton said the bus had been making its way across Wairarapa since Monday, starting in Featherston.

He said in the past week, the team had collected “at least four to five thousand items” to give to community groups to distribute in time for Christmas.

“Our distribution co-ordinator has 1257 children through 600 whanau groups on her register.”

Sexton said there were about 24 agencies to distribute the toys to.

Tranzit operations supervisor Vaea Peterson, who had been with Pack the Bus almost every year, said not only had there been donations of toys but of money too.

He said Masterton Intermediate School was a stand-out with its donation of $350 raised from a mufti day.

Sexton said that a young boy from Carterton had also donated $500.

Peterson said that on top of the monetary donations, foodbanks had been receiving food all week.

Sexton said Wairarapa was well ahead of other areas in New Zealand that were raking in about 400 toys each while Wairarapa had as many as 4000.

Peterson said the fact that “everyone knows everyone” in Wairarapa added to the community’s giving nature and the success of the campaign.

A Carterton District Council spokesperson said the community had stepped up again to pack the bus.

They said generous resdients had taken turns to fill the Tranzit transporter.

“Those and other presents from around Wairarapa will go to the good people in our community who could use a helping hand this holiday season.”

The campaign was supported by the three district councils, Mediaworks, More FM, Property Brokers, and Tranzit.

Masterton District Council spokesman Steve Rendle said it was a great cause that the council supported each year.



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