Appeal support overwhelming

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Some of the many gifts which have been donated by the community. Photo: Petrina Wright

THE Southland community has once again gone above and beyond to ensure women and children experiencing family violence in the region receive some Christmas cheer this year.

For the second year in a row, Invercargill Workingmen’s Club president Peter Kennedy and his wife Cindy organised a Gift for Kids’ appeal for families being supported by the Invercargill Women’s Refuge during the Christmas period.

And for the second year in a row, the appeal was well supported, with a large selection of gifts donated, including dolls, scooters, games, and even drones.

“It has been unbelievable how generous people have been,” Mrs Kennedy said.

“I’m just blown away.

“We just can’t thank the community enough.”

Southland children Aiden Watson (8, left), Elliot Keen (6) and Chloe Kennedy (14) add their presents to the sleigh at the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club last week.

They had also received $4000 in cash donations towards buying presents.

In addition, Spark Business Hub Southland had donated $1000 worth of New World vouchers towards food for the families’ Christmas dinners.

Mrs Kennedy said the strong community support during the past two years had encouraged them to continue to organise the toy drive every Christmas.

“We won’t stop. It will be ongoing now.”

The donations were presented to Invercargill Women’s Refuge services co-ordinator Cathy Robertson last week to distribute to the families in need.

Ms Robertson said on average Invercargill Women’s Refuge supported about 70 families each year during the Christmas period.

She thanked the members of the Invercargill Workingmen’s Club and the community for their support.

“The families we support are grateful and totally overwhelmed.”

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