Police appeal brings cheer to kids

ANNA LOREN
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013
Cop Xmas
BIG JOB: From left: Lynda Jury with chihuahua-bichon frise cross Trixie, Marion Wilson and Senior Sergeant Laurie Culpan with the last of the toys to be distributed through the Counties Manukau Police Christmas appeal.

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It will be a bumper Christmas for hundreds of children thanks to the men and women in blue.

More than 600 young people will receive gifts collected through the Counties Manukau Police annual appeal.

The gifts are distributed through the district's 12 Neighbourhood Policing Teams to the most needy areas of Counties Manukau.

They are also go to Women's Refuge, the Mercy Missions Charitable Trust, the Refugee Resettlement Centre and children's homes throughout the area.

Appeal co-organiser Marion Wilson says about 2400 toys, games and books were donated this year - and that's a "fantastic" result.

There were so many gifts they filled her garage, garden shed and a spare bedroom.

The annual appeal started seven or eight years ago with a single box of toys and has grown every year.

"We wanted to collect toys for the Manukau police station because the kids had nothing to do while their parents and caregivers were giving statements," co-organiser Lynda Jury says.

That collection was so successful the volunteers were able to send boxes away to other organisations, she says.

"The following year I said ‘Why don't we have a collection here at Manukau?' and it grew from there."

Senior sergeant Laurie Culpan says it is great to see so many people getting into the spirit of Christmas.

The appeal's continued success is all down to the generosity of the public, he says.

Schools and community groups donated gifts and local businesses helped out with the packaging.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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