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A Touching Christmas Tribute For Loved Ones No Longer With Us

As the holiday season approaches, Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty (Hospice EBOP) invited the community to join in a moment of reflection through its annual Community Remembrance Tree Week.

The initiative provided an opportunity for the community to honour and remember those they have lost and those they are missing this festive season, with the community encouraged to write messages on Christmas cards and hang them on the trees.

Communications and Fundraising Manager of Hospice EBOP, Stacey Maxwell, said it’s been a special time of reflection for many.

“While the primary focus is on remembrance, the community's generosity has been extraordinary, with more than $3,000 in donations given so far. A large majority of this has come from shoppers passing our stand outside Ōpōtiki New World, and we’re really touched by the support.

“These donations will be reinvested into the Eastern Bay of Plenty community, specifically in bolstering palliative care and social work services for patients on their final journeys in life, and the families who are supporting them.”

For those who didn’t get the chance to participate, a tree is also available at Farmers Whakatāne until Christmas Eve. Shoppers can donate and write on a remembrance card or purchase a bauble in honour of their loved ones. Proceeds will go towards our palliative care services.

“We want to take this opportunity too, to acknowledge that the Community Remembrance Tree Week wouldn't be possible without the dedication of our wonderful volunteers and staff.

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“My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has played a role in making this a compassionate and memorable experience for our Eastern Bay community, as well as their commitment to supporting our Eastern Bay whānau throughout 2023,” adds Stacey.

To conclude the Community Remembrance Tree Week, cards adorned with heartfelt messages were cremated at Willets Remembrance Service and then respectfully laid to rest in the serene gardens of Hospice EBOP.

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