Struggling families are being kept warm and fed in winter with separate acts of kindness from the St John Whangārei Area Committee and Whangārei RSA.
The area committee has kicked off the second year of Winter Warmers, which distributes new and pre-loved blankets, jackets, pyjamas and other warm apparel to families and children throughout Whangārei.
St John Whangārei Area Committee member and project coordinator Nancy Greenfield said the collection tally stood at 80 blankets, 60 sheet sets, and clothing for 2- to 14-year-olds.
"Knowing there are families who for a number of reasons find it very hard to cope during the colder months, we are pleased to be able to step up and meet the need," she said.
Members of the public have donated patchwork and knitted blankets.
"Generous knitters have also donated awesome clothing especially for the under-5s," Greenfield said. "This year social workers have asked for clothing for children aged up to 15 years."
A generous donation from The Warehouse allowed the committee to buy more blankets.
Greenfield said any items would be gratefully accepted by the committee, for distribution by Oranga Tamariki.
"We know this will make a tangible difference to the families that receive them."
In 2019, the Winter Warmers donated 300 blankets to families in need.
St John Whangārei Area Committee chair Caroline Davis said that was thanks to Toby Brasting from Arthur's Emporium in Whangārei.
Plans for last year's Winter Warmers hit the brakes because of Covid-19.
As struggling families were being helped to fend off the winter chill, the Whangārei RSA women's section was ensuring their bellies were being kept full.
Around 30 members - mums, grandmothers, and great grandmothers - filled half a dozen boxes and bags with a variety of edible goodies donated to the Salvation Army.
President of the women's section Flo Osborne said they had donated food to the Salvation Army annually since she joined the RSA 18 years ago.
"We do it just to help people less fortunate," she said. "That's all it's about for us."