Hampers for a happy Christmas

By Sophie Bond

Kershia Govender has always wanted to give something back to her community. But instead of volunteering for a day or making a charitable donation she's taking a more ambitious approach.

The 25-year-old Meadowbank resident is organising an Auckland-wide drive to provide hampers to needy families this Christmas. It's another five months away but she's already in full swing seeking donations from businesses and looking for volunteers to help.

Kershia is a media research supervisor at Australian Associated Press and says in the past she's used the "too busy" excuse to justify not volunteering her time.

"I've always wanted to do volunteer stuff but life gets in the way so this is a way to give back to the community and get others involved, too."

The project, which she's calling Hope, starts now with a call for volunteers and donated goods and will involve a mass hamper delivery come early December.

"We're looking to help local families who are struggling financially and are unable to provide their children with a good Christmas.

Hopefully we'll be able to show up on people's doorsteps with food and gifts and give them the sense that the world hasn't forgotten about them."

Kershia already has her fiance and two friends on board and now she's looking for people to donate goods and, come December, volunteer their time. "We're looking for donations of non-perishable food, toys, things that might be useful at Christmas. I also need help with administrative tasks, preparing hampers and distributing them around Auckland in December."

People are invited to nominate families or individuals who could do with a helping hand this Christmas. The Elim Christian Centre in Botany is already on board to provide a list of locals needing assistance and Kershia also plans to contact the Auckland City Mission to offer hampers to its contacts.

She's already secured a donation from the ANZ Howick Branch, and the Mad Butcher has promised 500 sausages. Kershia will be taking donations of non-perishable food items from now until the first week of December. "I haven't set a target for the number of hampers we'll deliver. It will be a matter of putting together everything that's donated. If there are not enough families we'll take the leftovers to the City Mission."

"We're always thinking about ourselves at Christmas and I just really wanted to do something different this year."


To nominate a family or individual to receive a hamper, to volunteer your time or make a donation, contact Kershia on 021 038 7221 or email: hope4auckland@gmail.com

People helping with deliveries will need their own vehicles.

Read more about the project on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/hopehampers

Are you planning anything extra special this festive season? Tell us about it in the comments below or on our facebook page.


- The Aucklander

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