Gifts to make a tough time easier

JENNA HOUGHTON
Last updated 05:00 23/12/2013
tdn kerry stadn
ROBERT CHARLES
Chaos cafe owner Kerry Vosseler and the Taranaki Cathedral dean Jamie Allen are running the Give Something Back initiative this Boxing Day.

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The Taranaki Cathedral hopes the spirit of giving will still be alive after Christmas Day.

After the success of last year's Give Something Back initiative, the cathedral doors will again open on Boxing Day to take donations for those less fortunate.

People may give unwanted gifts, toys, books, or things bought especially for those in need.

"We want to turn someone's Christmas around. The purpose of the day is to give people in a tough place an unexpected boost," cathedral dean Jamie Allen said.

"There's a real situation of genuine need and poverty this Christmas.

"It's not just families, we also assist a lot of elderly. For people without family, it means the world to get a gift."

Mr Allen has also suggested people donate their time, skills or companionship as a way to meet others and make connections.

The dean said he wasn't sure what to expect last year but was overwhelmed by the response.

"Someone called in that morning and asked what do you need the most of? I said something for the littlees and toddlers and they went out and bought $300 of nappies, clothes and bits and pieces," he said.

Mr Allen was also moved by a young boy who donated a remote control toy.

"He said ‘I got a lot of presents this Christmas but some didn't get any, so I've chosen my best one.' "

Chaos Cafe owner Kerry Vosseler is also on board for a second year, and will be giving away free coffee to people who give a gift.

"I think it's nice. We all forget what Christmas is about. It gets a little commercial," Ms Vosseler said.

Gifts will be given anonymously to those in need through community organisations around the region.

Donations are already being made, and a table has been set up in the cathedral entrance for the early birds.

The cathedral will be open from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, and gifts will given out before the New Year.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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