Supporting Those In Need
Aucklanders Helping Aucklanders
Aucklanders Helping Aucklanders
The Auckland City Mission has been at the forefront of helping shape lives for the better for 100 years. While its services to Aucklanders in need are many and varied, the universal challenges of 2020 have seen the Mission’s distribution services relied upon like never before.
While for many Aucklanders its annual Christmas Day event has long been a common touch point with the Auckland City Mission, it is the other 364 days of the year
that remain equally important for Mission staff, volunteers and the many people they help, says Auckland City Mission CEO, Chris Farrelly.
“Every day we see so much generosity from our fellow Aucklanders. Every morning we serve up a cooked breakfast to around 300 people; this doesn’t happen by magic. We have
people of all ages, ethnicities and faiths who come together for a common cause. We really are blessed with exceptional volunteers.”
Reflecting the fact that no two clients’ stories are the same and people who call upon the Mission for help come for many different reasons, the range of community services it provides are many and varied. Crisis care, homeless services, elder person services and detoxification programmes are just a handful of ways in which the Mission assists Aucklanders in need.
Additionally, the Foodlink community food programme supports volunteers in many smaller towns who work to help people in their communities. To assist these community groups, the Mission receives bulk food donations, then splits them and distributes them to community food banks between Thames and Kaitaia.
“Post-COVID, we are now taking twice the amount of calls from those facing their own food crises,” says Chris.
Recently the Giltrap Group donated a new Volkswagen Crafter to the Mission’s busy distribution fleet; a vehicle that will now be out on the streets of the city and beyond as early as 6.30am each morning, in order to distribute food, clothing, furniture and household goods to those most in need.
“The support we have received from both the Giltrap family and the Giltrap Group has been long-term and is valued so very highly,” continues Chris. “Above and beyond this long-term
support, as soon as the effects of the current pandemic crisis became a reality for us this year, the Giltrap Group immediately asked, ‘How can we help with the response?’ There was absolutely no hesitation.”
The Mission is now preparing for the opening of ‘HomeGround’ – a safe space designed to provide shelter, health, and wellbeing services which will comprise of 80 self-contained units for those in compromised living situations, 25 detox units and a large medical centre. The complex will also feature training facilities and a modern food kitchen.
“With ‘HomeGround’ we will be able to provide help for those in need and give them dignity and space. Very few cities in the world would be able to establish a centre of this nature on this scale,” says Chris.
“Among the challenges there is so much goodwill, so much positivity, that we see every day.”
For more information on volunteering for the Auckland City Mission, or to donate food for emergency food parcels and Foodlink, visit www.aucklandcitymission.org.nz or phone 09 377 4322.