Police use chain letters to spread hope
Chain letters can be a source of misery with their threats of dire consequences if they're not passed on.
But Counties Manukau police are using them to send a strong positive message this festive season.
They have created their own chain letters in the form of Christmas cards that deliver a safety message to at-risk families, their relatives and friends.
The cards include details of available services and where to get help.
Artwork was drawn by children from schools in the district who were challenged to enter their designs by the police.
"It is superb," district commander John Tims says.
Four designs were selected and the winners were Irrainious Soo Choon from Wiri Central School, Tavana Toniu of Mayfield Primary School, Kaila Chase of Kelvin Road School and Otahuhu Primary School's Junior Savea.
More than 800 cards have been distributed in the Counties Manukau district.
Inside each envelope are three more Christmas cards, three pre-paid envelopes and a set of instructions encouraging the recipient to send their extras to family members or friends.
"It is important to us that throughout this busy and sometimes stressful time that you all look after each other. Sending these Christmas cards increases our capability of raising awareness and helps us inform people about where they can go for help and support if they need it."
It also gives people a chance to pass on the message by sending the cards on.
"We're hopeful that our safe Christmas message will travel around the district, region and maybe even the country."