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Trust appeal brings Christmas cheer to families in need

2023 Christmas Cheer

From left Joy Graham and Jo Laurie (volunteers), Veronika Hogan (Libraries team) and Jo Reyngoud (Hastings District Christmas Cheer Coordinator).

Families in need are set to receive some Christmas cheer again this year, thanks to the efforts of the Hastings District Christmas Cheer Trust Appeal.

The appeal team works with more than 35 different social services in the region to co-ordinate an annual gift giving appeal, that this year will bring relief and joy to 590 local whānau.

The recipients are nominated by social service agencies who work with them.

Hastings, Havelock and Flaxmere Libraries have been donation drop-off points, and this week libraries staff and volunteers have been helping wrap, pack and deliver the presents.

Hastings Christmas Cheer coordinator Jo Reyngoud, who has been involved with the appeal for 16 years, said the help was much appreciated.

“It’s awesome because the libraries staff are great with systems – so I can just hand over the agency lists and they just get it done.”

Every family will get a grocery pack and gifts, each child will get their own Christmas sack, and each year one local family receives a brand new bike with lock and helmet thanks to an annual donation by a local family.

“Despite the year they’ve had, people are still being really generous, and everyone who receives Christmas Cheer is so grateful.”

This year the appeal team raised $36,000 worth of groceries and $10,000 of funding came from Hastings District Council’s Community Development Fund.

People can still donate gifts right up until Christmas.

At all three Hastings district libraries, tags are hung on Christmas trees with suggestions on good gifts to donate, and while children are well catered for, the appeal always needs presents for adults and teenagers.

People can also make direct donations online. Go to the website for details

18 December 2023

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