The Christmas Shoebox Project provides awhi for families needing a little more respite at Christmas in Whanganui. Hakeke Street Community Centre and Love and Learn have again teamed up this year to bring a little extra joy to Whanganui.
The Catalytic Foundation connects businesses and communities nationwide to help drive social and environmental change.
“Our local community has been significantly impacted by the increases in the cost of living in recent years”, says Din Bandara, of Hakeke Street Community Centre.
“By partnering with the Catalytic Foundation, we have been able to bring joy to many families by giving gifts donated from the community and put together by our wonderful Love and Learn elves and volunteers at Hakeke Street Community Centre. Since last year’s appeal, we have seen a greater community interest in wanting to contribute to this amazing initiative, which is great news as the need is higher than ever before.
“Local businesses have come on board to support this cause. Shoeboxes are being displayed at various local businesses such as Kiwiana Cafe, Caroline’s Boatshed and Living Waters Medical Centre. You can call in and pop something in any one of our boxes or alternatively, join in, gather your workplace people, friends and family together to fill boxes with gifts.
Collect the number of boxes you require from Hakeke Street Community Centre. A donation of $10 covers the box and courier costs. You can also donate $50 a box and a box of special gifts will be provided.
The boxes are to be filled with recommended gifts for mums, dads and children, then dropped back at Hakeke Street Community Centre for distribution to a family in need.
According to the foundation’s annual Community Needs Survey, 98 per cent of the 204 charities surveyed are seeing their communities greatly affected by the cost-of-living crisis.
“Since the campaign’s inception, we’ve distributed 8685 Christmas boxes of gifts to families in need. This year, due to the cost-of-living crisis, the need is higher than ever before which is why we’re striving for a record year and are calling on the whole of Whanganui to lend a helping hand”, says Catalytic Foundation CEO Teresa Moore.
The Christmas Shoebox Project accepts only new donated items and requests the items be something to love, to play with, to wear, something for school and essential items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap etc.
This year, with the support from the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams and PlaceMakers, there’s a special emphasis on sports gear. The ask is for New Zealand team members and PlaceMakers staff and clients to donate sports gear and uniforms in time for Christmas. Sports equipment can be donated at PlaceMakers branches nationwide.
“The Catalytic Foundation works with over 40 participating community charities countrywide. These local organisations are then able to pinpoint the community needs around them which ensures the donated goods via the Christmas Shoebox Project go where they’re needed most.
“Stories from our participating charities like these are endless — many children are living in households where parents need to make the heartbreaking choice between food or a gift at Christmas time, and the Christmas Shoebox Project is there to ensure that isn’t the case,” Moore said.