Children's charity Variety has started an appeal to help families affected by the tornado that devastated parts of Hobsonville and Whenuapai yesterday.

Variety is taking donations to provide food vouchers and Christmas gifts to families displaced by the huge storms.

Variety chief executive Lorraine Taylor said those families "could use some help and Christmas cheer''.

"Our thoughts go out to the Auckland families impacted and displaced by yesterday's tornado and in particular the families of the three men who lost their lives,'' Ms Taylor said.


"We'll be delivering Christmas gift packs to children and food vouchers to families.''

She said a number of schools, including Whenuapai School, had students who were affected.

Whenuapai School principal Warren Spanhake said families from his school had lost roofs, had windows smashed by trees and one whose house had been ``completely demolished''.

"Coming into Christmas there will be many worries, especially with shelter and knowing that there will be no power for at least four days,'' Mr Spanhake said.

"Any donations would be greatly appreciated.''

Anyone who can help or needs to apply for support should visit