Don't walk by: motto

By Mikaela Collins

1 comment
GENEROUS: When Mya Pulemoana saw a man and two boys sitting outside Subway wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, she gave them her two jerseys so they would not be cold. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
GENEROUS: When Mya Pulemoana saw a man and two boys sitting outside Subway wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, she gave them her two jerseys so they would not be cold. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Mya Pulemoana is the type of person who will give you the shirt off her back with no questions asked.

So when she saw a man and two boys sitting outside Subway in Rathbone St wearing only shorts and T-shirts on a cold night in Whangarei, she knew she had to help.

"I was looking at them and I was freezing myself in the shop and the shop's real warm and I was cold myself. They had their hands tucked in their T-shirts and I was like 'They must be cold, because I'm freezing,'" she said.

Ms Pulemoana, who is from Waikare but lives in Tikipunga, remembered she had two jerseys in her car. They were the only clothes she had to put on after working her Sunday shift at the sandwich shop but, without a second thought, she gave them to the boys.

"The dad just said 'Oh kia ora girl, thank you,' then said to his boys 'What do you say, boys?' and they thanked me as well. I just replied and said 'They're very welcome'.

It was a very warm feeling, made me happy to know they were warm and not sitting there cold like they were before I gave them my jerseys," she said.

Ms Pulemoana, 27, had to get back to work so she didn't talk further with the man. But her actions didn't go unnoticed. A family who were passing through Whangarei had stopped at Subway and saw what Ms Pulemoana did. They put a post on a Whangarei buy/sell Facebook group saying how "humbled" they were to witness such kindness.

"I nearly cried when I read it, my eyes were all teary I was like 'Aw, I didn't realise someone was watching me,' but my whole family was real proud when my sister showed it to them," Ms Pulemoana said.

Ms Pulemoana said she has been raised to help people when they need it. Her grandfather always put his time and effort into others and her mother, who drives the school bus in Waikare and often volunteers at the kura, is the same.

"It's just in my nature, my family are very helpful. It was just common sense to me. I just do what's right, I've always done it. My family knows me like that," she said.

Sunday's incident was not a one-off act of kindness. She said her and her partner will sometimes gather together clothes and blankets they do not need and go around giving them to the homeless.

"It just makes me happy to know they've got something warm on them. It settles my mind to know that I've given some stuff that they need."

Ms Pulemoana would one day like be a social worker or work in fostercare. She has a saying she and her family like to live by. "In the moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the worst thing you can do is nothing," she said.

- Northern Advocate

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