Levin's Uniting Church rolled out the red carpet for those who had to continue to work under lockdown level 3 and 4 as essential workers. They provided a delicious dinner in a beautifully decorated church hall on Monday night. Another event is planned for Friday night.
Among those attending were staff and volunteers from the Levin Fire Station, Unichem, Levin & Horowhenua Vets, the Interchurch Foodbank, representatives from council's incident management team, and funeral directors. Hundreds of people had been invited to a number of events to be held throughout this week.
The council's community development team took the opportunity to be there helping to run the evening.
Church staff and members had done a lot of shopping for elderly folk they knew over the lockdown and a conversation with New World staff, who went out of their way to organise deliveries to the elderly, led to more discussions with others, such as the council.
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The end result was a series of dinners and high teas to thank the very many essential workers in the community.
"Wherever we went during the lockdown, we did 80-plus shops for other people over the lockdown, staff were so good, well organised and everyone smiled," said Roxy Warrington, who organised the event.
"We wanted to create something special for those who had gone out of their way to provide essential services over the lockdown. We wanted to serve them and present a soft and gentle atmosphere with background music, and with a bit of class for them to enjoy."
Deputy mayor Jo Mason attended and spoke briefly to thank essential workers and acknowledge the Uniting Church, community and council for pulling the thanksgiving together. Councillor Todd Isaacs was also present on Monday night.
Many of those attending said they were blown away with the gesture of a thanksgiving dinner for doing their jobs. "Nobody has ever thanked us for doing our jobs in other difficult circumstances such as the Christchurch mosque attacks and the earthquakes," one said.