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Police around the country will be doing their bit to give people who need it a bit of a ‘festive’ spirit and lift from the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.
Police staff In Gisborne are taking part in Operation Blue Santa for the second year running for Tairāwhiti.
The Gisborne Whāngaia Ngā Pa Harakeke team, with Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust and Countdown Gisborne, is running the initiative to give the community an opportunity to share food and Christmas treats with struggling families.
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In the early weeks before Christmas, social services running under Police will visit families and give a laundry basket full of donated food.
Constable Tracey Mann is again doing the ‘hard yards’ in coordinating the ambition of interest from the community this year.
“It was just such an amazing experience last year to be able to do something like this for the families we work with. The response all round – from the families, the staff involved and the people who donated – was really heart-warming. It made everyone feel good” she says.
“The extended generosity of the Gisborne community was awesome last year, so we will be leaning on them again to give to those less fortunate.”
“In the past, we have had businesses having muffins sales, quiz nights, and donating avocados for sale as fundraisers so their office could donate baskets to families.”
“Operation Blue Santa gives us the opportunity to shine a little light on the fact that there are families dealing with difficult circumstances – and to show this community really cares about one another.”
If you would like to help full a Blue Santa Basket, it costs around $85. The contents can be bought and put together by a family, group or business, and left with Countdown Gisborne, or funds can be paid into the Te Aka Ora bank account (02-0636-0061335-00 ref: Blue Santa).
For more information, please contact Constable Tracey Mann – [email protected](link sends e-mail) or Laura at Te Aka Ora Charitable Trust (06) 868 7722 or Chris at Countdown Gisborne (06) 869 0880.
Image: NZ Police