Support a Family brings Christmas joy for whānau in need

Published on 24th of December, 2022

Christmas was made that little more special this year for 160 whānau, who were recipients of a CMM Support a Family hamper.

The rain held off on December 22 for the morning drop-off of hampers before whānau collected their gifts in the afternoon. It was a long but rewarding day for staff and volunteers who helped.

One mum with two under-fives said she was relieved she would be able to provide a fun and tasty Christmas. “It’s not fair my children have to miss out on stuff just because I can’t afford it and it’s stressful for me deciding whether to give them a present or to cook a special meal or do something we don’t normally get to do. We are grateful for the hamper.”

In addition to parenthood, this busy mum was studying towards a diploma in veterinary assistance and animal welfare, and volunteered at animal welfare charities. “It’s nice to get something like a Christmas hamper to help you push on. I can’t earn money at the moment but I tell the children that when life knocks you down, you take a breath, keep pushing forward and try to achieve.”

When Cameron looks back to Christmas 2021, he is grateful that he and his child were to spend this Christmas in a house of their own and for the security his new circumstances have brought. “Last year I was in emergency housing. Now my life has got so much better… As soon as I got out of there, my standard of living improved tremendously. Now I’m healthy and in a nice house.”

He said he would have struggled to get much food or anything at all for Christmas without the hamper and that it enabled him to greatly stretch his part-time work income.

For donors of Support a Family hampers, the joy of giving is evident.

Personnel and reservists of HMNZS Pegasus chose Support a Family as their ship’s charity about seven years ago. The combination of regular force personnel and reservists like to do something tangible and meaningful at the end of each year. Some like to buy a specific gift for one of the family members, others like to donate goods for the hamper, and the Ship’s Welfare Fund donates a supermarket voucher.

Anna Mowat of the organisation Real Parents has been supporting the campaign for a few years now. She says it has never been so much about the giving as it is about thinking about someone else and what they might like. “My children have always really liked this. I guess too they know we’re lucky to have gifts and kai at Christmas and because of that, it’s our job to look out for others.”

We would like to sincerely thank all those who took part in this year’s Support a Family initiative. Your generosity and kindness brought Christmas cheer to those who need it most.