The Inglewood community centre has a very special tree on display and is asking any members of the community who will be without a loved one this Christmas, be it through bereavement or because of people being overseas, to come in and hang a decoration in memory of that person.
The centre is also holding a raffle, with two large hampers as the first and second prizes.
"We are very grateful to Shoprite," comments Annie, explaining that the hampers are stuffed full of groceries that the local store provided to them free of charge. Another local store, Gifts and Flowers, wrapped the hampers "and made them look so lovely". Money raised by the community centre goes to funding the annual Christmas day lunch that the volunteers at the centre organise and host. "Last year we had 90 people come, some came from Wanganui or New Plymouth," says Annie, as she explains that the community centre is important to a lot of people.
"There are an awful lot of lonely people in our community. We have all sorts come in to visit us, some for a chat, some for help. Some just come and eat their lunch with us rather than be at home alone."
She adds: "We all know what it is like to be lonely at times, and it is time for people to give back to the community what has before been given to them," asking that people remember the community centre when they have any bits and pieces that they no longer need. The centre has the items on display, and puts no price on them. Instead they ask that people give a donation, "10c or $10, whatever you can afford and are willing to pay".