Families turned away as Mission is overwhelmed by need
20 December, 2018
Families turned away as Mission is overwhelmed by need this Christmas
The Auckland City Mission is being forced to turn families away empty handed as demand outstrips supply in its pre-Christmas activities.
The Mission is working from three locations distributing emergency Christmas food parcels and presents – Eden Park, Nga Whare Waatea Marae in Mangere and Papakura Marae.
Missioner Chris Farrelly says people are queuing through the night in order to be first in line for support – but Mission and marae teams are forced to turn people away when the food runs out.
“It is a disturbing and painful time for myself, Mission teams and our marae partners. The numbers of people coming for help are huge, and often mask the stories of individuals struggling to get on their feet after significant trauma. “
“I see hundreds of people who have patiently waited most of the night to be in the line to collect a little of what most of us would regard as Christmas essentials; some food for the family, some presents for their children, and where possible, a special needs grant from Work and Income. I see mothers and grandmothers desperately wanting to do a little more for their children and grandchildren.”
Mr Farrelly says the flip side is that in times of great need the Mission gets to see the best of people.”
“The volume of donated food and presents is huge and highlights the generosity of individuals and families, some very poor themselves who reach out to others. Also unseen are the thousands of volunteers who have worked quietly often late into the night at our distribution centres. These people come from multiple organisations and represent every part of our community. “
But, says Mr Farrelly, the Mission needs to ask for more. He says financial donations are needed urgently to not only provide for families this Christmas, but to also help them in the new year, when times are equally tough.
Currently the Mission has raised just half of their $1.5 million appeal target and is urging all Aucklanders to donate just a few dollars each to help a fellow Aucklander this Christmas. Donations can be made at aucklandcitymission.org.nz or by calling the Mission on
09 303 9200.
The Mission’s annual Christmas appeal is running until 14 January 2019.