The chilly May weather gave impetus again this year to our Hastings Parish ‘Needy Children’ project, to distribute thermal clothing to children in our district. Our parish’s Environmental and Social Justice (ESJ) group developed and ran the project.
Supported by a diocesan contribution of $3000 and private donations of $6800, the funds enabled the purchase of generously discounted thermals from The Warehouse. We bought 405 sets of new tops and leggings for children from 2 to 12 years of age, and additional purchases for older children.
Our ESJ group had several helpers in May to sort and distribute the thermals at St Peter Chanel Function Centre. Among the helpers were acting parish priest Fr Brian Carmine, St Vincent de Paul members and students.
The thermals were distributed to children at local primary schools and to a Flaxmere community worker for her clients.
Young Vinnies at St Mary’s School made ‘tree posters’ inviting parishioners to take tags to specify sizes for more thermals needed, resulting in 100 more sets of thermals being purchased.
The work is supported by our three St Vincent de Paul conferences and by Ana Apatu, CEO of Flaxmere Wharariki Trust.
With the help of all involved this year’s project was a really successful. We clothed approximately 600 children, and next year we hope the project will be even bigger!