The Mission started distributing Christmas emergency food parcels and gifts on the 7th of December and up to 300 families have come to their Hobson Street Drop-in Centre for assistance each week day since then. This week, traditionally the Mission’s busiest, is expected to be no different and it’s all hands on deck at the Mission as they work to provide food and presents to the 1,500 families who will visit them this week. Then on Christmas Day the Mission will provide lunch for 2,000 guests, people who can’t afford Christmas at home or would have been spending the alone.
The queue outside the Mission highlights the need in the community and the demand their organisation is experiencing but there is a more hidden side to the Mission’s work over Christmas. Auckland City Missioner, Chris Farrelly says that while December is the Mission’s busiest time of year in terms of providing assistance to families, it is also a crucial period for raising the funding necessary to operate its essential social services throughout the year.
“Financial donations have been worryingly low this year and with Christmas now only 6 days away we urgently need financial assistance to support families. Donations in December help assist families not only over Christmas but also in the difficult few months at the start of year when we also experience high demand. Not many people are aware of this, but over 80 per cent of the Mission’s services are funded through donations, so the funds we are raising at the moment are crucial to the provision of our services in the coming months. We would be grateful if those who have not already contributed would consider making a financial donation, of any size to our Christmas Appeal.”
Year-round, the Mission provides a low-cost medical care service, drug & alcohol rehabilitation programme, outreach support for rough sleepers and isolated elderly people, emergency food support Auckland-wide, an activities programme and community centre for central Auckland’s homeless population, as well as a Crisis Care service for low-income individuals and families.
Donations can be made online at aucklandcitymission.org.nz or by phoning (09) 303 9200