By Pauline Stewart.
“For the last two years, Alana Baker from Bayleys Real Estate has done a drive for pyjamas, jackets and gumboots. We have been able to include those items in our Winter Packs and they have been gratefully received by many households in Mercury Bay.” Tracey Gaskell, Programme Manager at Whitianga Social Services, is very grateful for the generosity of the local community when it comes to donating items for their Winter Packs drive.
How to help the Winter Packs drive: This year, Tracey’s team are collecting items differently, more similar to the Christmas collection run by Guthrie Bowron. This means there are tags with specific items required, to ensure they have the correct sizing and can hopefully provide for every recipient.
Tags include items such as blankets, umbrellas, warm socks and hot water bottles. These tags are presented on the ‘Matariki Winter Drive’ board in Bayleys Real Estate (corner of Monk Street and The Esplanade). Simply choose a star -shaped tag on which there is an item or items you are choosing to buy and donate; register your name to the tag number at reception, and bring the items to Bayleys before Monday, 10 July.
“We will then ensure these are handed out with our Winter Food packs for families and pensioners in need,’ says Stacey. “These have been allocated by Whitianga Community Services Trust for the most vulnerable families and pensioners with whom we work. This is also similar to Christmas packs. However, the winter packs contain items for warmer winter meals.” Last year the Winter Food packs included all ingredients for pumpkin soup and bacon hock soup and included printouts of the recipes. Added to that, were porridge and milk and pantry staples such as tea, coffee, butter, flour, tinned foods and sanitary items.
“For Winter, 2023, we hope this can bring some financial relief to the receivers and ensure they can enjoy something nice and warm over the cold months. Their knowing that the community has thought of them and organised to support and practically assist in their needs, is key to their well being and the health of our society. We know people will step up and help with this important work.”