Community kindness alive and well in Mercury Bay

27 Jul 2021

Generosity and kindness are alive and well in Mercury Bay according to the Whitianga Community Services Trust who say they continue to be blown away by the support they receive in assisting local families and individuals who are experiencing hardship.

The trust’s manager, Sheryll FitzPatrick, said two unique and unexpected acts of kindness last week were amazing examples of what people in Whitianga were doing to support others in the community.

On Friday morning, the social services team were stunned when Maria Hills, winner of the recent New World Grocery Grab which enabled her to grab as many items as possible in 60 seconds from the supermarket shelves, turned up to donate her collection to their food bank. “We were totally overwhelmed, it was such a kind and generous thing to do and it shows the kind of wonderfully caring people we have here in our local community,” Sheryll said. 

“Sharon Magee, a local business owner, also went and bought some extra items, including hygiene products for women which was so thoughtful. The generosity of people here in this town never ceases to amaze me.”

Also on Friday, Sheryll visited Bayleys Whitianga to help real estate agent, Alana Baker, officially launch a Pyjama Drive aimed at gathering new, warm pyjamas for children in the local community. “I had seen it being done in other parts of New Zealand and I always thought it was a great idea,” Alana said. “Organising it really is just a way to give something back to the community. Being able to work with Sheryll and the team at Whitianga Social Services means we can ensure the pyjamas reach those families who will really benefit from them and, if successful, I hope we can make it annual event.”

Sheryll said the gift of warm pyjamas was a really practical way to support families over winter. “We know it can be a particularly difficult time with additional heating costs and so on, so having help with basic things like food and clothing really does make a difference,” she said.

Donations of new pyjamas in sizes suitable from toddlers through to pre-teens can be dropped off at Bayleys, 7 The Esplanade, Whitianga, anytime from now until the end of August. “We will then take all the donations over to Sheryll and the team at the Whitianga Community Support Trust to distribute,” Alana said.

“We have already had quite a few pairs come in in a range of sizes and colours which is fantastic. One lady donated eight pairs which was amazing. I see it time and again through the various things I am involved with, such as Mercury Bay Athletics or the Pink Ribbon Breakfast we held recently - we live in a very caring community.”

Pictured: Whitianga Social Services manager, Sheryl Fitzpatrick (left) and Alana Baker from Bayleys Whitianga launching the community Pyjama Drive.