Seeking good samaritans bearing gifts

Pay it forward on Boxing Day

Last updated 05:00 21/12/2012
Taranaki Cathedral Dean Jamie Allen and Chaos Cafe owner Kerry Vosseler
SANTA'S HELPERS: Taranaki Cathedral Dean Jamie Allen and Chaos Cafe owner Kerry Vosseler have teamed up to collect gifts for the needy and reward generosity with coffee.

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Taranaki Cathedral is calling all good samaritans to pay it forward on Boxing Day.

Together with Chaos Cafe, Dean Jamie Allen has set up Give Something Back, whereby people can deliver their unwanted Christmas presents or a special gift for people in need.

The Cathedral will be open from 9am to 5pm on Boxing Day for drop-offs.

In return the good sorts will get a stamped coffee cup to take to Chaos Cafe to receive a free brew for their efforts.

Chaos owner Kerry Vosseler said she heard from her husband about what the cathedral was doing, and wanted to be a part of it.

"We've allowed for 300 coffees so we're really hoping people get behind this and dig deep with their gifts," she said.

Mr Allen said he had met many families through Foodbank and the cathedral's family programmes who were feeling the pinch and had nothing to give this Christmas.

"New Plymouth is an awesome place to live and has tremendous community spirit and I just hope people really get behind this," he said.

Mrs Vosseler said Christmas was becoming increasingly commercial and the spirit of giving had been lost.

"This is a chance for people to pay it forward and as a bonus they get a coffee for doing so."

Mr Allen said Boxing Day was traditionally work free and about people giving to the needy.

"We're simply reinventing the tradition in a new way."

Collected gifts will be given to identified families in need and the Taranaki Hospice will also benefit.

"Bring in your television you don't need, or the Xbox, socks or underwater camera," Mr Allen said.

"And once you've done that you can go and socialise with friends and family and have a free coffee feeling really satisfied in your heart that you've done your bit for the district," he said.

Mr Allen said this Christmas would be particularly tough after his daughter, Carrie, lost her battle with cancer earlier this year.

"I hope to spend time with people on Boxing Day who have also had a hard year and stand alongside them as I know what they're going through," he said.

"It could just be me and my dog turn up but I'm hopeful that won't be the case."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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