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A Merry Vinnies Christmas - Keeping the dignity in charity

Tuesday 8 October 2019

The St Vincent de Paul Society Wellington, Merry Vinnies Christmas appeal is back again this festive season with a focus on keeping the dignity in charity.

Piloted in 2018, A Merry Vinnies Christmas came from our drive to give whānau seeking our services in Newtown more choice over what they receive.

A Merry Vinnies Christmas offers a shopping style experience to families seeking help over the holiday period, giving them the dignity, ownership and choice to choose the presents they receive from us.

How does it work?
The Vinnies Welfare & Service hub in Newtown transforms into a festive toy shop over December. Unwrapped, donated gifts for children aged 0 – 16 years, are displayed for whānau to come and choose from.

Gifts are sorted and displayed in values of 1, 2 and 3 tokens. Each child receives 3 tokens worth of gifts – so a parent can decide if they want 1 big present, or maybe 3 smaller gifts to fill up a stocking. This encourages people to think, as they would in a retail shop, about the person they are giving to.

A wrapping station is available so whānau can enjoy wrapping each gift from a variety of upcycled paper, ribbons and stickers – further fostering the feeling that each gift is coming from them and not a charity.

In 2018, 81 individuals and families chose gifts for 256 children from the Merry Vinnies toy shop. What numbers can’t capture is the warm atmosphere and genuine excitement that filled the Vinnies hub in the lead up to Christmas.

We need the support of the Wellington community!
We need the help of the wider community to collect and donate gifts for the Merry Vinnies toy shop.
Gift criteria:
•Appropriate 0-16 years old
•New/ near new condition
•Drop-off by 28 November to Level 1, 207 Riddiford Street, Newtown
•We’re always short on gifts for teenage boys (12 – 16 years)

“The old saying goes ‘Christmas is the time for giving’. Let’s go a step further and make sure this ‘giving’ puts the dignity and mana of our community whānau first.” – Millie Lambess, Marketing Manager


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