Some of you may of already heard of the ‘The Gift’ on Facebook, if you have, have you put together a box to gift? If you have great, you are a star! If you haven’t , would you like too?
Recently, thanks to some of my awesome Facebook buddies sharing ‘The Gift’s’ facebook status letting people know about this cause, I came across it. What a FAB idea, for the few weeks leading up to Christmas if you can add an item extra to your groceries to help someone out who may be struggling. For me and many others the thought of Christmas feels me with love, happiness and i especially like to give more than receive. One of my favourite things about Christmas is watching people open a present I have given them and hoping the look of their face is a good one!
What I really like about the idea of ‘The Gift’ is you can put together a present for someone whom I’m sure will really appreciate it. Sure, I won’t get to see the individuals face when they open the box I have put together, but to me that is ok. I’m happy this is a great cause and I trust my gift will really help someone.
When I first saw it, I checked out the Facebook page immediately and messaged the lovely Michelle who organises it all and asked if I could mention ‘The Gift’ on my blog. I asked Michelle some questions so I could share more about ‘The Gift’ and how it all started. In italics are Michelle’s own words.
What made you start doing The Gift? And when did it start?
Michelle explained in 2013 she did a Community Masterclass. The Masterclass pulls together community minded people who want to see communities get back to helping each other, looking after each other and creating new initiatives.
And in 2014 I took part in a Incubator project and I basically just took what was in my hand and created something that would connect people who had something they wanted to give with someone who was in need and needed a hand up but maintaining full confidentiality at the same time.
The Gift was birthed in December 2014.
Is this just in New Plymouth, or is it happening in other places around New Zealand?
There are little pop ups of things like The Gift over NZ. My main aim is always to see families helped, but I have made sure that the people who are helped through this process are being supported by a social worker to help them get out of the rut they have found themselves in. Its very much a hand up rather than a hand out.
What can people do to help this amazing cause?
When a need arises, the basics of the need are placed on the Facebook page and if the people who belong to the page decide that they can meet that particular need, then they make contact with me and I arranged for pick up, and then drop it off to the family.
A number of the families that we meet the needs for, are families who are under a social worker or whanau worker at Tu Tama Wahine.
Who receives the boxes?
The Gift boxes for mums was an initiative we started last Christmas amongst the staff, but when members of the community found out about it, they all wanted to participate. Putting together a box of goodies is such a simple and easy way to lighten the load of a mum/dad or grandparent over the Christmas period, and the generosity of spirit that exists in the New Plymouth area is often overwhelming!
What else can people donate if they didn’t want to fill a box?
Over the past 6 years Citywest church have provided Christmas presents for children. Over that time more and more businesses and people have come on board with this initiative as well, and last year we were able to give away presents to 300 individual children, so if someone would like to provide a child’s present, that would be awesome.
So, what can be put into a box, preferably a shoebox sized box, just general everyday items that lighten their load.
- Roll on
- Body Wash/soap
- Disposable shavers
There we go, what do you reckon of ‘The Gift’? If you want more information check out the Facebook page.
I have been putting together a box to be donated. I have followed the list of items that Michelle suggested and I have been able to do it for around $20 which I thought was pretty good. Usually I would spend more than this on a gift for a friend or a family member, so I found this quite achievable. I know for some people Christmas is the time of year that can be tough for people financially. I just wanted to help spread the word about what I think is a fantastic cause.