Generosity Highlights the South's Christmas Spirit

By Jerrie Valli | Posted: Wednesday April 3, 2019

The generosity of the Southland community has once again amazed Family Works staff, with a huge number of donations helping to make Christmas a little brighter for hundreds of Southland families.

Christmas 2018 saw a number of initiatives take place; all aiming to make Christmas an easier time for families who would otherwise struggle.

The H&J Smith Christmas Tree appeal again revealed an extremely giving community; with many shoppers contributing gifts to be donated to families within the Family Start Programme, and the store itself also giving gifts for parents.

Family Works Team Leader Karen Willis said, although it was 10 years since the initiative began, it still brought out the very best in the community.

“It was fantastic; H&J Smith do a wonderful job of co-ordinating it, in particular Robyn Colvin who puts a huge amount of personal time into ensuring it all comes together,” she said.

A number of beautiful handmade quilts were donated to the organisation by the McFadzien Friday Girls throughout 2018, and these were saved to be given to families at Christmas; the quality of the quilts such that no doubt many will stay within the families for many years to come.

More than 50 food parcels were also distributed to families in need. Family Works Administrator Carol Brown, who has the mammoth task of co-ordinating the parcels each year, said the generosity of businesses and individuals that contributed to the parcels was wonderful.

“It’s just astounding, the level of support we receive year on year. People are just so generous and we are so appreciative,” she said.

A Christmas Tree at Presbyterian Support Southland’s Central Office attracted its largest ever number of donations, with hundreds of gifts able to be distributed to families.

Family Works staff had the privilege of distributing all of the gifts and food parcels to families in need and would like to sincerely thank all of the businesses, organisations, community groups and individuals who made it possible.