Palmerston North City Council staff members have donated 184 gifts to give some Palmy kids an extra smile on Christmas Day.
Each year, infrastructure teams have supported Shoebox Christmas. This year the activity was extended to everyone at the council, with a huge response. Shoebox Christmas works alongside schools and community organisations.
Eva Johnston, the council’s leading lady of Christmas giving (also its Three Waters capital programme manager) says the huge pile of gifts is no surprise to her.
“The people who work here are part of Palmy. Being here for our community is a big reason why working here is important to them. I work alongside people who do great things every day that keep services running and support people. It’s what we do. Their generosity is enormous.”
Johnston and her council elves will be circulating the gifts to the schools allocated by Shoebox Christmas on Friday. “It brings us such joy to spread a little joy.”
The giving goes deeper too. A recent council staff food drive donated about four trolley loads of goods to Luck Venue and Palmerston North Women’s Refuge.
For Movember, the Moustache Council Team smashed its $1500 target, raising more than $2350. Gumboot Friday efforts raised more than $1200 for the I Am Hope charity.
Council staff also regularly volunteer in the community. Last week, asset planning staff joined the Butterfly Compassion Community to put together sensory packages. These are for children who are in hospital care. The packages will also be carried in police cars during Christmas.
Earlier this year, council teams volunteered at community gardens and women’s refuge.
“When our staff are asked to give and support causes, they get right behind it,” Johnston says.