Town joins in spirit of season

More than 200 Geraldine people will receive some early Christmas cheer thanks to the efforts of the community.

Volunteers will have to prepare care packages for more than 60 households or 200 people after the local resource centre created a list of deserving recipients based on suggestions from the community.

Resource centre administrator Donna Auld said there had been a host of gifts dropped off at the centre.

"It's a far bigger task than we expected, it's going to require quite a lot of manpower to deliver the packages."

Ms Auld said the Lions Club of Geraldine, Geraldine Lioness Club and Benevolent Trust had dug deep for the cause, providing financial assistance and donations

Kerrin Allan, who was helping with the appeal, said it had been a mammoth task.

"People think of Geraldine as quite a wealthy town, but there are many people in need," she said.

Ms Allan said the recipients would be unaware they had been selected until the packages arrived at the door today.

"It's in the spirit of Secret Santa. There have been so many good stories to come out of this - a local farmer has provided enough potatoes for 60 families," she said.

Ms Allen said organisers were still receiving nominations for recipients.

"We've only had about 10 days to prepare all the packages. With every nominee, we have to assess their needs. If it's a family, we have to know the age of the children so we can give them something appropriate. Everyone requires something different," she said.

There were about 20 people helping with the initiative, including staff at the local banks.

The volunteers would prepare the packages at St Andrews Church today, before personally delivering them to nominated recipients.

"It's going to be a long day, but it's worth it just to see their reaction," Ms Allan said.

The Timaru Herald