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Generosity creates hundreds of Christmas hampers

14 December 2011

Generosity creates hundreds of Christmas hampers

After a tough year in Christchurch, it seems generosity still knows no bounds.

Over this week, the Christchurch Methodist Mission will distribute more than 500 Christmas Hampers to families and older people struggling with the aftermath of this year’s destruction and upheaval.

“It’s an amazing testimony of how when the chips are down, just how caring New Zealanders really are” said Mary Richardson, Executive Director of the Christchurch Methodist Mission. “Substantial donations from the Methodist Church of New Zealand and the Christchurch Earthquake Fund have made this project possible. The money came from all over New Zealand” said Richardson.

“The Methodist Mission has been alongside struggling families and households all year and we knew just how desperately this project was needed this Christmas. So we were just thrilled when the Church and the Earthquake Fund asked us to undertake this huge task”.

David Bush, General Secretary of the Methodist Church in NZ said “We were acutely aware of what a huge load the Christchurch Methodist Mission had been quietly shouldering through the whole year since September 2010. It was also at some real cost to the Methodist Mission, because they too had lost use of their offices in Durham Street in the February quake. So this was one way the wider Church could help resource an even greater measure of generosity this Christmas.”

The Methodist Mission has the support of a wider team to assist in the distribution of the hampers. Other community groups, the City Mission, Nurse Maude, local parishes and businesses are assisting. “It’s a wonderful example of how important being part of a network of agencies is today” said Richardson. “We will always be able to achieve more together, than we will ever achieve alone.”

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In addition to the hampers the Mission has made from the donations there are also hundreds of hampers made and donated by families, businesses, public servants and local parishes as part of next week’s Support a Family Programme.

“The Methodist Mission began Support a Family more than 10 years ago. We wanted to help families celebrate Christmas together a home. But for many families, that can be quite a challenge. No more so than this year. Homes, jobs, children’s treasures and in some cases, even family have been lost.”

“It’s no longer just young families in crisis” said Richardson. “Increasingly we’re alongside older folk who are really struggling. The events of this year have really taken a toll of them. They’re also often the most reluctant to ask.”

“2011 has been quite a year yet remarkably there has been no let-up in the generous support we receive every year from businesses, community groups, families, local churches who make these amazing Support A Family Christmas Hampers possible”. Richardson said.

“The generosity has been overwhelming, especially when you realise they too have lost homes, community facilities, workplaces, and for some, even family”.


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