Facebook page for giving and receiving

By Jonathan Dine

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Pam (left) and Henare O'Keefe with Brenda Wainohu dropping off goods for the homeless at the Flaxmere Boxing Academy. Photo / Duncan Brown
Pam (left) and Henare O'Keefe with Brenda Wainohu dropping off goods for the homeless at the Flaxmere Boxing Academy. Photo / Duncan Brown

A sister's admiration for her brother's "tireless" community work prompted a new Facebook page.

Shona West, sister of Flaxmere councillor Henare O'Keefe, created the Facebook page called Koha Mai - Koha Atu - giving of yourself and receiving.

Her inspiration for the page came from the "tireless" work her brother does in the community.

"Both he (Henare) and his wife work so hard and spread so much goodwill, this page is an extension of that."

Essentially, the site was set up to service needs without money exchanging hands.

It encourages users to exchange, gift, receive and share anything that inspires, supports, grows and enhances goodwill and care for self and others.

It mainly applies to Hawke's Bay with a handful of members that Ms West has approved from outside the region.

Just two weeks since its creation, the group has grown to include more than 500 members.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed by the site's success thus far," Ms West said.

She personally gifted a Trelise Cooper coat, and a gold necklace, which a Flaxmere mother of eight was "over the moon" to receive.

Another woman has begun a campaign producing a "backpack of goodies" for the homeless.

"The response to that has been huge," Ms West said.

Diana Murphy received two months' free usage of an exercycle from Hikoi for Life Gym for her autistic son.

"The generosity of people is mind blowing there is always someone willing to help another person," she said.

"This page shows that there is still good left in people and willingness to give and not receive is amazing."

Other generous donations included a new music system given to the Flaxmere Boxing Academy and a new fridge was gifted to a woman who was living in her shed.

Henare O'Keefe was incredibly proud of his sister and the members of the group.

He said he was feeling the sense of community permeating throughout Koha Mai - Koha Atu.

"This sense of love and community will leave an ongoing legacy."

Mr O'Keefe said that how we treat people, not our wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact we can leave.

"It's not what we do, but how much love we put into it that matters.

"Love is the secret of a lasting heritage."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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