This year, more families than ever will struggle to have a Christmas as rising costs of living and inflation push them over the poverty line. Many parents will have to choose between paying the bills or buying Christmas presents for their children.
For over 14 years, CMM’s (Christchurch Methodist Mission) Support a Family initiative has ensured that these families do not miss out on Christmas. Support a Family matches donors to families to provide them with a personalised Christmas hamper containing gifts for children and food items including Christmas essentials. This year we’re projected to reach over 600 individuals, including 400 children.
The financial burden of Christmas on whÄnau during normal times can be immense, but putting food on the table and presents under the tree when inflation is high is so much harder. Every parent wants their children to experience the joy of Christmas, and our Support a Family initiative ensures they can.
The impact of this initiative every year is huge, with recipients expressing their gratitude for the kindness of strangers. Families are often overcome with emotion when they pick up their hampers.
“When we picked up our hamper I sat in my car and cried. Was the first time in a long time my son had had a proper Christmas” says one hamper recipient.
Support a Family Coordinator Glenda Marshall says the hampers ensure families do not feel isolated and alone at Christmas. “Families are amazed that someone they don’t know is willing to help them out. It’s quite common to hear recipients say how good it is to be reminded that people do actually care.”
A number of parents have agreed to being interviewed about the impact on their family of receiving a Support a Family hamper. We also have many donors who are happy to be interviewed about their motivations for participating in Support a Family.
The distribution of hampers will take place on Thursday 22nd December at Chapel Street Centre (68 Harewood Road), with donors dropping off their hampers in the morning between 7:30am and 11:30am. The receiving families will be collecting their hampers between 12:30pm and 4:00pm. Media are invited to attend on the day, and interviews can also be arranged outside these times with donors and recipient families.