The Rotorua Community Hospice plays an integral role in and is supported by the Rotorua community. Now, it is giving back.
The six-week Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal hits the halfway point on Saturday and Hospice is one of many organisations doing their part to help the Salvation Army Foodbank give out 200 Christmas parcels to families in need.
On Sunday, December 6 the annual Hospice Volunteers Christmas Lunch will be held at Princes Gate Hotel and all attendees are being encouraged to bring non-perishable food to be donated to the Christmas Appeal.
Rotorua Community Hospice volunteer services manager Sue Gunn said the Christmas Appeal was a cause all the employees and volunteers were enthusiastic about supporting.
"They're very keen to give back to the community," she said.
"They're very much understanding of the gift of giving and the gift of time. All of our volunteers, while they may have had a hospice experience, they're very committed to giving back in some way."
She said about 60 volunteers were expected to attend the lunch and predicted they would be generous in their donations.
"This is a really practical way they can help people during a special, family time of year.
"The Salvation Army do such a wonderful job in helping people and they need the community support all the time, but especially at Christmas - it's a time that seems to highlight the need of people in the community who are less fortunate than us."
Rotorua Hospice is a charitable trust that provides a range of specialised care services for anyone in the Rotorua community living with a life-limiting illness.
It receives about 50 per cent of its funding through the Lakes District Health Board, which leaves about a $1 million shortfall. Hospice relies on support from the community to help fundraise for the rest.
Gunn said everyone involved in the Rotorua Community Hospice greatly appreciated the support of the community which made it even more satisfying to be able to give back.
"We're extremely lucky that we have a community who are very supportive of Hospice."
The Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal for the Salvation Army Foodbank is done with support from the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM. It runs until December 19.
During the appeal, the team will be seeking non-perishable food donations to help the food bank continue its work throughout the Christmas period and into 2021.
In 2019, the foodbank gave out 446 food parcels to people in need.
The number distributed so far this year is already more than double that at 1062.