They say you can judge a community by how it treats its most vulnerable.

So what better way to showcase Tauranga's sense of community than this year's Bay of Plenty Times Christmas Appeal?

Today, we launch our annual six-week appeal to collect as much food and money as we can for the Tauranga Community Foodbank. The foodbank is made up of incredible human beings volunteering their time for others less fortunate.

As a reporter, I have been involved with this annual appeal for several years now. Some of you will have opened your doors to me during our can drives through the city's suburbs.

Others will have told me about their fantastic fundraising efforts for the cause which then formed part of our stories.


Today, and over the next six weeks, my colleagues and I will bring you reasons of why we are doing it all over again.

Some stories will be happy and joyous as community members band together to give from their heart and their pantries. Other stories will have a more serious tone as we portray the difficulties some people face.

Tough times can happen to anyone of us – at any time. It's no easy thing to reach a point where your only way out is to ask for help.

But we, as a community, have the power to help those who need it - and it's as easy as donating a can of sweetcorn.

It might only be November, but let's get this Christmas spirit rolling.