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Supporting Our Community Through COVID

Waikato District Council staff have stepped up and given back to their community during the latest COVID-19 lockdown.

Ngaruawahia Community House Manager Anne Ramsay recently approached staffer Trish Forsyth with a bit of a list of things they were short of but then lockdown hit and so it was thought staff might be in a position to give monetary donations instead. Within minutes of the request going to Council staff, the community house received donations. There are also staff who have kept the account details and have provided several more anonymous donations, which is amazing and totally unexpected, Anne says.

In total Council staff donated a fantastic $2035 for their local foodbank. This has since enabled the Community House to purchase meat, vegetables and toiletries such as soap, toothpaste and cleaning products which will go in much-needed food parcels for the local community.

Anne says they’re very grateful for the generous donations from Council staff, especially at such a tough time.

“It is hard at times to imagine that whanau in our community could be finding it so hard, but the reality is, if you are on minimum wage or beneficiary with children at school, you may just be managing with costs such as petrol to get to work, rent, power and the fact that your children are getting a mid-day meal at school, then here comes lockdown and children are home and anyone with children will know that all they seem to do is eat, in particular teenagers. Assistance for non-beneficiaries through MSD is not easy to obtain as they may not be aware that they can apply, so foodbanks can be their only solution. Also, without lockdown it does not take much to topple a week-to-week budget, car repairs, fridge breakdown, children have camp, outgrow school uniform, shoes. Again, massive thanks to WDC staff, you guys rock.”

Helping the local foodbank isn’t the only recent cause Waikato District Council staff have got behind. Trish also wanted to do something for the Starship Children’s ICU, who are currently fundraising for more beds, and put together a raffle that saw $5000 raised for the Starship Foundation.

Waikato District Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion isn’t surprised his colleagues have been so quick to jump in to help their community during such difficult times.

“We are a family-orientated organisation and a lot of our staff come from and live in the communities we serve. Doing our bit, whether it be by raising funds for the local community foodbanks or supporting a facility that helps the youngest and sickest in our community is just second nature for our staff. We are privileged to serve our communities every day and giving back like this is our way to say ‘we’re here for you’.”

Waikato District Council has a staff of around 400 and its head office is based in Ngaruawahia, but the organisation also has offices throughout the district in Tuakau, Te Kauwhata, Meremere, Huntly, Raglan and Tamahere.

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