What The Aunties Did – October 2016

As always we bought food for the refuge, and for women in the community. We also bought some baby clothes, and Warehouse vouchers so a family of kids who have had a very tough time – and who had been uplifted from an unsafe place with absolutely nothing – could have something brand new to wear. Sometimes it feels really good for kids to go shopping for something that no-one else has ever worn before.
Auntie Phil took some clothes and linen over to an Auntie who has taken on her sister’s three kids. Two of the kids had a cry because they were so relieved they wouldn’t have to wear the same clothes to school every day like they have been. Their new worry was that Santa might not know they have moved house so Auntie Phil gave them Santa’s PO Box number so the kids can write to him. We are pretty sure Santa will get back to them and confirm that he knows where they are now.
We replaced a car windscreen for one of the women, gave a voucher for bras for someone else, and got a TV aerial put up for one of the women who had moved into her own home. Putting the aerial up didn’t cost as much as we’d expected, so we decided she could spend what was left over on food.
And we have hired a big storage unit so we can collect all the things people kindly donate, and hold on to them until they are needed. Previously, we’ve had to say “no” to some things we didn’t immediately have a use for because we had nowhere to put it, but now we can stockpile stuff until it is needed. (It is always needed eventually.)
This also means we are building something of a Santa’s cave – Christmas gifts for the 70 or so kids who will be having a Christmas with refuges this year. So keep those presents coming – just label them so we know the kind of kid they’re meant for. Message us for a place to deliver to, or we may be able to come pick them up.
We also want to thank people who have given us special things, like writer/illustrator Raymond McGrath who has donated two copies of his kids’ books, signed and personalised. And we’ve made contact with Eco Educate who recycle soft toys and turn them into new teddy bears, and we’re hoping we can give one to all of our kids.
And it’s not just about money and stuff – Auntie Jackie went to a Family Group Conference to support one of the women and her son. We are still looking for a mentor to work with one of our teenage boys who is in need of a good male role model. We’re hoping to find someone who can spend a bit of time with him and talk through some of the issues you might expect a kid who has grown up with violence has to deal with.
Auntie Jackie talked to a women’s service club about the work the Aunties do. As a result, they have chosen our refuges as the recipients of their collection of kids’ gifts and food this Christmas. Auntie Jackie is available to speak at other gatherings about the work – let us know if you are interested in hearing more about that. That’s one of the way we are planning to raise funds to do all this awesome stuff.
So thank you again for making all of this possible. We love knowing how many of you are out there supporting the things we do. Nga mihi nui.

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