Kids keen to lend a hand
Kids are putting their energy into the Papakura Courier and Salvation Army Christmas Appeal.
The students in the Safe Kids in Daily Supervision (Skids) after-school programme at Papakura Central School are collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and other toiletries for families who would otherwise not be able to afford them.
They're also collecting toys and tinned food which will be distributed to deserving South Auckland families and other community agencies that work with the Salvation Army.
It's the fourth year Skids kids have participated in the appeal but it's the first time for those in the Papakura programme.
And Skids area manager George Bautista hopes for a great result.
The decision to run the appeal through Skids programmes in South Auckland was approached with caution as "the perception is that lower-decile schools will not give as much", Mr Bautista says.
"We were saying: ‘Will it work? Will it work?' but it did."
But families in lower socio-economic areas are often very generous, he says.
That could be because they know first hand what a difference the appeal can make.
"We had a real ‘aha' moment last year when a man who had used Salvation Army services the year before gave his daughter two cans to give to the appeal.
"He knew what it was like to be in need and he wanted to pass on the help he'd been given."
Papakura Skids operator Wayne Johnson is excited to be running the appeal at Papakura Central School for the first time.
"At the end of the day it's all about giving back to the community," he says.
Drop-off points are now in place at Skids providers throughout Papakura, including at Papakura Central School. Toiletries, tinned food and toys can be dropped at school offices during school hours.