Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

$10k donation for Whare Tauranga

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Ian (L) and Peter Cross (R) with their sister in Wellington have donated $10,000 to the Whare Tauranga which Tommy Wilson (C) runs.
Ian (L) and Peter Cross (R) with their sister in Wellington have donated $10,000 to the Whare Tauranga which Tommy Wilson (C) runs.

A $10,000 donation has been made to Whare 4 Whanau at Whare Tauranga by a well known Bay family.

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust is funding two houses gifted by the Tauranga Moana Maori Trust to help abolish homelessness in Tauranga by 2020.

The homes can house three families for up to 10 weeks and would be a place of stability and safety while they receive help to find more medium- to long-term housing.

Ian Cross, his brother Peter and sister Sue Bidwell donated $10,000 to the charity from their family trust.

Ian Cross said most of his family had lived in the Western Bay of Plenty all their lives.

"My brother and I were talking about how distressing it was seeing all these people struggling to find housing. It's not something we are accustomed too here. The money is not going to solve any problems but it is a way to help out."

The two brothers discussed the matter with their sister in Wellington who also gave them a thumbs up on the idea.

They all knew of the work Tommy Wilson, and his organisation had done over the years.

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services director Tommy Wilson said he had a call from the Cross brothers with "something" they wanted to bring over.

"They wanted to come in with koha, I didn't know what it was. The two bros came in for a few hours and we showed them what Te Tuinga does, what it means and how we connect with the community. The bridges we build across Tauranga."

Mr Wilson said others had recently been making donations to the trust.

"People had been bringing blankets, fridges and hot water bottles. I just thought they were just some more kind minded people wanting to share the love and he then pulled out this cheque.

"I was blown away, it's a month's operating expenses for Whare Tauranga."

Mr Wilson said now they had built the Whare Tauranga it needed to be manned, operated and expenses needed to be paid and since the housing had opened it's doors they had been gifted $40,000 from key business and families in Tauranga which was incredible support.

"Our target of $100,000 is being reached. The people we look after need to know we care. The same with us, we need to know the community cares. When people come with a koha like the Cross brothers we know that the community cares."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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