The Rotorua Youth Centre and Rotorua Police are teaming up this festive season with the aim of bringing some Christmas cheer to struggling local families.

Constable Marc van Krieken said the Rotorua Police and the Rotorua Youth Centre acknowledged the stress placed on many families during the Christmas period.

"We want to provide support to needy families in Rotorua, to ensure that families,
especially the children, have sufficient food, some gifts and hopefully a great deal less stress over the Christmas season."

Mr van Krieken said by working with the community they would like to reduce family harm during this busy period, to build the public's trust and confidence in the police, and support community groups.

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"I think every child is entitled to have a good, happy Christmas and by doing what we do we can help out and try to ensure they do have as great a Christmas as they can.

"Some families may not be able to provide all the niceties they would like to and this initiative is to ensure they can get all the nice things that come along with Christmas."

It is hoped Christmas Care Packages will be delivered to 50 families and they will attempt to deliver to more depending on the number of donations, he said.

Families will be chosen through referrals from various Rotorua agencies for a variety of reasons, with the primary reason being ''will this family benefit from receiving a Christmas Care Package?'' he said.

Mr van Krieken said Christmas was a time of giving and this was a way people could help others in their own community.

He said they were happy to accept anything people were willing to give them, but they needed non-perishable food.

Toys for children, such as books and soft toys, which did not require batteries, would also be appreciated, he said.

Rotorua Youth Centre manager Steve Holmes said the centre was always keen to find opportunities with other groups and support the community.

He said he thought people wanted to help and support those who were struggling but did not always know how to, and this was a good vehicle for them to do so.

Donations can be dropped off to the Rotorua Youth Centre or the Rotorua Police Station by December 16.

The packages will be delivered in the days leading up to the Christmas weekend.

Any organisations which wish to make donations can contact Constable Marc van Krieken on (021) 191 0761.


Donation drop-offs:
-Rotorua Youth Centre, 6 Te Ngae Rd
-Rotorua Police Station