Helpers galore sort out lunch menu

By Cherie Taylor

Dozens of people turned up with peelers in hand and a smile on their face to help prepare vegetables and presents for those expected to turn up at the free community Christmas luncheon this year.

St John's Church was abuzz with activity when The Daily Post turned up yesterday to check how preparations were going.

Organisers had asked people to set aside three hours to help but so many turned up they had hundreds of potatoes, kumara and pumpkin peeled and a huge pile of presents wrapped and stacked for Santa to give out to the children.

Kay Leamy, from St Mary's Church, said she had always wanted to give of her time to help out at the community lunch but this was the first time she had done so after reading about the call for volunteers in her church newsletter and The Daily Post.

"I'm glad to help and I've met some really lovely people," she said. "It's been really lovely. It could easily be one of us in the same position with nowhere to go or not able to afford Christmas. It's lovely they put this on for people."

One of the organisers, Karen Groot, said she was blown away by the number of people who turned up to help. "It's just awesome. We've been running trying to find jobs for everyone. People are so generous with their time."

Organiser Catherine Gettins said bookings for tomorrow's luncheon were rolling in fast, with more than 400 people already registered to attend but there were plenty of spaces for those who wanted to walk in on the day.

"We've got about 70 helpers already and about 400 people booked in ... We've had a flood of calls ... No one will be turned away," she said.

While it isn't compulsory, people are invited to attend the pre-luncheon service at St John's Church at 10am.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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