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The Aunties

  • Xmas update

      17 December 2017
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    Hello beloved Aunties - whether you're a new supporter or you've been here from the beginning, so much to tell you.

    I won't go into everything that's happened, because there's a lot, but I wanted to address your extraordinary generosity, particularly over the last week.

    What you've enabled us to do is put on a banging great Xmas party - costed at $2500 - and buy 50 tubs, and fill them - $2800 - with treat food, and Pak N Save gift vouchers.

    Those will be going to 50 families in the Te Whanau Rangimarie community who will be struggling this Xmas.

    You have also enabled me to buy 18 pamper gift vouchers for the social workers I work with year round. Many of them have lived in violence and many of them are struggling, too.

    And that's just a little bit of what your work has enabled me to do in my work.

    Your generosity has never known any bounds. From the early days of us supermarket shopping, to now when I am able to pay for car repairs, oodles of food, and to take teenagers on shopping trips that ease some of their pain. I am eternally grateful, my Aunties. From my heart to yours. Thank you x

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  • What The Aunties Did: July Edition

      2 August 2017

    Kia Ora beautiful Aunties!

    July was all about trips for the kids, meeting extraordinary humans and shopping.

    Let’s start with the shopping – it happens in two ways. Auntie Jackie took nine women to the Aunties storage unit which we use like a shop, except that no-one pays for anything. People get to choose what they want from our donated clothing and linen and other supplies for themselves and their children. This month that included a mother choosing clothes for a little boy about to be born.

    The other way it happens is that sometimes Jackie takes people to actual shops for brand new things. For example, we took a teenage girl shopping for clothes that would make her feel good about herself. She and her sister have been through some dark times and, though she is in a safe environment now, you carry that with you for a long time. Jackie took Auntie Sonia and her daughter along on the trip to make it even more fun.

    There is more to life than shopping, of course. There are also adventures. The Aunties took a whole bunch of kids and their mothers to Butterfly Creek which was amazing (they especially loved riding the train, and chowing down in the café) and there was also a trip to Stardome. Plus Jackie took two girls to the Auckland Art Gallery where they had THE BEST DAY EVER. Which has inspired them hugely, and also inspired us to approach National Art Supplies for lots of lovely arty stuff to keep at the refuges. There’s nothing like expressing yourself visually, and at least one of the girls is determined to be artist when she grows up so we’re thrilled to nurture this.

    We have also paid for dance classes for one of the children, bought some baby clothes, and a new tyre, and paid for someone to sit her driver’s licence (she failed the first time, but passed the second!) and we will do that for another woman soon. We are going to pay for passports to make it possible for a couple of girls to go visit their uncle in Australia at Christmas, and we’re getting eye tests and glasses for a couple of people. And Auntie Jackie took one of the women to lunch at the Botanic Gardens.

    Then there were the extraordinary people who gifted things to the Aunties. All of you who donate are special but here are three remarkable stories:

    A couple whose 3-year-old son had died got in touch because they wanted to donate all his stuff – clothes and toys – to the Aunties. Jackie met with the couple, and took the woman who would receive all his things with her so they could meet. I think you can imagine the kind of courage and generosity involved in both gifting and receiving a little boy’s things after he has gone. We are incredibly grateful to these lovely people, and honoured to find a home where they will be loved and appreciated.

    We’d also like to say a very public thank you to Rose Jackson of “Glory Days” magazine who held an exhibition of Vintage Wedding Dresses at Highwic House and then donated the proceeds from auctioning off the dresses to the Aunties. Rose also organised a public event with “On The Rag” podcasters Alex Casey, Leonie Hayden and me called “What’s Love Got To Do With It” where we talked about weddings and feminism. With proceeds from that, plus the dresses, and a personal donation from Rose, the Aunties received $1500 which is magnificent.

    And then there was the woman who intended to donate $70 to our givealittle page but accidentally over-donated – $670. That’s a big difference, right? But while we were trying to work out how to get the money back to her (givealittle donations don’t reach us until the month following) we got a message from her saying that it turned out her family were managing without that $600 and they would like us to keep it. Which is an amazing sacrifice and quite blew us away.

    August now – more warm clothes needed, especially in bigger sizes. And reminding you all that we are holding a public SGM (in theory a Special General Meeting but we’re thinking of it as a Seriously Good Melonfarmers gathering) at the Fickling Centre, 546 Mt Albert Rd on Tuesday 8 August at 6pm. Expect asparagus rolls. And an explanation of “melonfarmers”.

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  • What The Aunties Did: May Edition

      5 June 2017

    An update, and an apology from Auntie Michele.

    Part of my job as Aunties Chair is to keep you all updated with what has been achieved each month but I’ve been swanning about on the other side of the world for a bit and have missed officially reporting back for a few weeks. Auntie Jackie, who is made of superhero stuff, has done a grand job of keeping in touch with everyone and just generally “doing the do” but she doesn’t sufficiently blow her own trumpet so here’s a list of the good things accomplished. And please – after you’ve read this have a look at Jackie’s post of the goals we have as we look forward into June.

    The biggest thing was that Jackie had her birthday in May, but it was everyone else who got the presents! Jackie made it her birthday wish to raise money for a car for one of the women who has been in long term contact with the Aunties and, thanks to you all, $5000 was raised which is incredible. In fact, we raised more money than was needed so we asked some of the donors if they would mind us using the leftover money on other things, and they said yes. When you earmark a donation for something specific, we will always make sure that it gets spent on that thing, or else ask for your personal permission to put it towards another need.

    A woman and her two teenagers were spirited away from a violent home and arrived at refuge with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, so we put an urgent call out for clothes and people responded enthusiastically – Jackie took eight large bags of good quality clothing to the refuge for them, and some of the other women were also able to get things they needed. Pickups were done by the teenage son of one of our Aunties – he’d got himself into a minor bit of bother and needed to do some community service so we were thrilled to be able to help his whanau by getting him to help Jackie.

    Auntie Mel has organised our big storage unit so it is almost like a shop – women visit and choose the things they need for themselves and their kids. Some of them find this overwhelming – the idea that they Have What They Need is a new experience for many. It often makes them emotional and, to be honest, we all get a bit emotional at board meetings with Auntie Jackie tells us these stories.

    One of the women who has left the refuge some time ago has moved to another city so we sent her off with bedding and linen, and also put her in touch with good people who will support her there. We’ve also found good contacts for another long time Auntie’s friend in a different city – some help with school runs, friendship, and suggestions for a church she can go to.

    We’ve connected with a woman who, as well as raising six sons and doing her Master’s degree also has breast cancer. She still deals with abuse from her ex-husband who recently broke into her house and stole money. We helped out with food, petrol and phone credit vouchers to tide her over. We plan to stay in touch with her and will offer her meals after her breast reconstruction surgery. A couple of Aunties have already given her lingerie vouchers so she can buy new bras when the time comes.

    Auntie Jackie attended a CYFS meeting with one of the women and advocated for her and her kids with really positive results. And there were cooking classes at the refuge – another way of helping women feel good about their ability to take care of themselves and their families.

    We’re about roses as well as bread – so in the “roses” category, Auntie Jackie took one of the women to the Auckland Writers Festival – she loved it, and we’re keen to keep taking women to see cultural events that inspire them and make them feel part of the world again after they leave refuge.

    And more roses - literally – we’ve found someone who is keen to help Dorothy with the garden at the refuge so once all the necessary safety checks are done, there should be some more pruning and planting on the way so there’s something beautiful to look at out the window.

    That was May – now go have a look at what we hope to do in June.

    And thank you, as always, for helping us meet needs with aroha.

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  • A birthday gift

      9 May 2017
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    Yesterday I was 53. And birthdays, at this age, for me, aren’t a big deal. Every year, since Carol died, I’ve had a party to celebrate life, and so I focus on that instead. How to celebrate life, and getting one year older when Carol doesn’t get to do that.

    This year, I wasn’t having a big party. I’m going to spend time in Dunedin, instead, with people I have loved for a long time, and some I’ve loved for a short time. And to be loved, I think, is enough of a celebration isn’t it? But no, I had to up the ante……

    Let’s go back a few days. I was contacted by a woman whose car had broken down. She’s a woman who’s integral to the running of the refuge, and she’s also a single mum, and let’s face it, social workers aren’t paid what they’re worth. Working in a refuge with women who’ve lived in violence means you save lives, metaphorically and literally, on a daily basis – but you’re doing it for love, not the money. Let’s be honest.

    Part of her being able to do her job is having a car. Carting women and kids to and fro, whipping women away from volatile situations, picking up women from the police, or hospitals….you get my drift. She was enormously reluctant to ask, I could tell. And I could also tell that she was asking but she didn’t think we could help her in a huge way. But she was also asking because she knows that The Aunties can make miracles happen.

    So she asked. And I thought, quickly, as I’ve learned to do when processing a request: is it doable? How? And how much help can we provide realistically? So I gave her a figure, and said that’s about as much as we can do. And that was ok with her.

    On further discussion, it transpired that actually, the car wasn’t worth fixing. And so, maybe, we could help get her a decent deposit on a car. I knew just the person who would sell her one. A woman of worth and integrity, who knows cars very well, who’s lived in violence herself, been a single mum, and she knows the score. I hooked them up, and I hatched a plan. If we could get $800, then that was going to be a really good start. I wasn’t terribly sure that that would happen, but I thought I’d give it a good go.

    A couple of days before my birthday, I just thought it was worth using the fact that it was my birthday to give this fundraising a really good bloody go. I passed it by some besties, who told me to go for it. I thought it was cheeky, and perhaps may look a bit disingenous, but you don’t get anything unless you try. So I did.

    I tweeted that instead of birthday wishes, or maybe alongside, people pop $5 in the givealittle. I also put a post on my personal FB page, and The Aunties one. I think a few people caught onto it, and I RTed myself a couple of times. As you do.

    And off it went. By 10am there was $2000. By 2pm, there was over $4000, and by this morning, there was $5000.

    Yesterday, I did alot of crying, and gasping and saying to myself: YOU ARE KIDDING ME. I said thank you one thousand times over.

    And today? Today I am 53 years and one day old, and my heart is like a 21 year olds.

    I’ve been pretty lucky in this job. I’ve had a bit of recognition, I’ve got a lot of support, and there’s a really rock solid group of core Aunties who hold me up. But I’ve never seen anything like what happened yesterday.

    So: I say this, and mean it.

    The Aunties core values are about sustained support, and bringing joy and dignity to all people, but particularly those who have lived in violence. We meet need, with love, where it arises. There are many and varied ways this happens. But none of it happens without the use of social media, and none of it happens without you – the people who heed the requests I make on behalf of other people. and you give. You give. With love. That’s the bottom line. If you give anything in this world, for it to be meaningful, and purposeful, it has to be given with love.

    And I am enormously grateful for all the love you gave yesterday.

    Once again, I thank you. On behalf of a woman who needed a bit of help with a car, and now she’s getting a new one. On behalf of the women who staff the refuge, and all need to be mobile so they can do their job. On behalf of the women who live in the refuge, and need the staff to be mobile so that they can be safe.

    Meeting needs with aroha. Getting it done.

    Thank you.

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  • What The Aunties Did: Jan/Feb 2017

      25 March 2017

    School bags, blue hair, swimming lessons, food, phones and new collaborations – so much has happened in the last couple of months in the life of the Aunties we haven’t even officially reported in. Aunty Jackie has done a fine job of staying in touch with everyone, but here’s the official summary of what the Aunties did so far this year.

    Let’s go back to Christmas when the Aunties pulled out all the stops to give women and kids in refuge as much seasonal glee as we could. There were presents for 86 kids (they were given three gifts each and the look of wonder in their eyes would warm your heart till Easter) and we also gave 20 luxury food hampers to women to make their Christmas special, too.

    Since then we’ve also tried to give 2017 the best possible start. The Aunties paid for swimming lessons, and for a parenting course at the refuge. We bought 120 schoolbags, some clothes for a woman and her three children, and socks for another woman and her kids, and ordered some food online for two women. We also paid a phone bill, fixed a woman’s car, and moved furniture into a woman’s new house.

    We got some very specific requests – a 13 year old wanted more than anything else to have her hair dyed blue, so we made that happen for her birthday. We provided sewing machines for two women, and we bought cakes for other women having birthdays.

    The Aunties are very excited about a couple of new relationships. We are now working with the NZ Prostitutes Collective and we’ve bought toiletries, sanitary products, wipes, undies and food for them. Aunty Jackie goes to visit them once a week to take clothes and hotel toiletries which they make up into packs for street workers – so if you are travelling, grab those little bottles and pass them on to us. Aunty Jackie marched proudly with the NZPC in the Pride Parade in February. (They did her makeup, and she looked hot.)

    We’ve also started a relationship with Rainbow Youth – we’ve bought them $400 worth of undies so far.

    We’ve also bought mobile phones for the women in refuge – such an important part of keeping them safe – and paid for a woman to have her house valued so she is able to arrange the sale safely while her abuser is still living there.

    And we know we’ve filled a lot of people’s hearts with joy – including our own, and yours we hope, too.

    So thank you for being part of this, and let’s do some more!

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  • #refugexmas shopping

      10 December 2016
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    Thanks to all of you, this morning 7 of us were able to go to Pak N Save, and spend $2427.17 on the luxury food baskets for 16 women who will be at the refuge xmas party. $1227.17 of that was food, and the other $1200 was for grocery vouchers.

    That's helping a great number of people, and we so appreciate your support.

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  • What The Aunties Did: October 2016

      9 December 2016
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    As always we bought food for the refuge, and for women in the community. We also bought some baby clothes, and Warehouse vouchers so a family of kids who have had a very tough time – and who had been uplifted from an unsafe place with absolutely nothing – could have something brand new to wear. Sometimes it feels really good for kids to go shopping for something that no-one else has ever worn before.

    Auntie Phil took some clothes and linen over to an Auntie who has taken on her sister’s three kids. Two of the kids had a cry because they were so relieved they wouldn’t have to wear the same clothes to school every day like they have been. Their new worry was that Santa might not know they have moved house so Auntie Phil gave them Santa’s PO Box number so the kids can write to him. We are pretty sure Santa will get back to them and confirm that he knows where they are now.

    We replaced a car windscreen for one of the women, gave a voucher for bras for someone else, and got a TV aerial put up for one of the women who had moved into her own home. Putting the aerial up didn’t cost as much as we’d expected, so we decided she could spend what was left over on food.

    And we have hired a big storage unit so we can collect all the things people kindly donate, and hold on to them until they are needed. Previously, we’ve had to say “no” to some things we didn’t immediately have a use for because we had nowhere to put it, but now we can stockpile stuff until it is needed. (It is always needed eventually.)

    This also means we are building something of a Santa’s cave – Christmas gifts for the 70 or so kids who will be having a Christmas with refuges this year. So keep those presents coming – just label them so we know the kind of kid they’re meant for. Message us for a place to deliver to, or we may be able to come pick them up.

    We also want to thank people who have given us special things, like writer/illustrator Raymond McGrath who has donated two copies of his kids’ books, signed and personalised. And we’ve made contact with Eco Educate who recycle soft toys and turn them into new teddy bears, and we’re hoping we can give one to all of our kids.

    And it’s not just about money and stuff – Auntie Jackie went to a Family Group Conference to support one of the women and her son. We are still looking for a mentor to work with one of our teenage boys who is in need of a good male role model. We’re hoping to find someone who can spend a bit of time with him and talk through some of the issues you might expect a kid who has grown up with violence has to deal with.

    Auntie Jackie talked to a women’s service club about the work the Aunties do. As a result, they have chosen our refuges as the recipients of their collection of kids’ gifts and food this Christmas. Auntie Jackie is available to speak at other gatherings about the work – let us know if you are interested in hearing more about that. That’s one of the way we are planning to raise funds to do all this awesome stuff.

    So thank you again for making all of this possible. We love knowing how many of you are out there supporting the things we do. Nga mihi nui.

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  • What the Aunties did - November 2016

      8 December 2016

    November has been a pretty special month for us – Auntie Jackie (our Auntie-In-Charge) retired from her teaching position and became a fulltime, hands-on, roll-your-sleeves-up auntie. This is, right now, unpaid work but one day we hope to find ways to fund the leadership she gives us.

    So because we have a fulltime Auntie, a lot has been done. We made contact with a particularly vulnerable young woman and provided bedding for her, plus bedding for two Shine refuges. We went shopping for some baby stuff for a woman who has a baby and not much else. We bought some bras for a woman who didn’t have any, and some tyres for another woman’s car, and some Warehouse gift cards for a family, and some cheap phones for women who had made it into refuge, paid a doctor’s bill, and fixed a TV aerial for a woman who has left refuge for her own place so she can watch a bit of telly. We gave several women vouchers for groceries and for clothes and household things, and paid for another woman to sit her full driver’s licence so she can move around the world independently.

    We advocated on behalf a person with the police, and have been asked to continue that advocacy for them with MSD and Housing NZ and other agencies that can be difficult to navigate on your own, especially when you’re not at your best because life is scary and hard. It makes a difference to have someone sitting beside you.

    Auntie Jackie took one of the women and her daughter out for lunch (her treat) and bought her little girl her very first Fluffy. To be honest, she preferred her mama’s iced chocolate but every kid should get a Fluffy at some point, even if it’s so they can work out that iced chocolate is better.

    We are also getting Christmas-busy, filling our new storage unit with containers full of gifts and clothes. We make an effort to gather up presents that match up with the 70 or so kids we will have at the refuge Christmas party – have a look at our Facebook page to see ages and genders and particular wishes, and let us know if there is a kid you would like to buy a gift for. Some of us are picking kids the same age as our own kids or grandkids, and buying them the same stuff to make the shopping easy. The party happens in the week before Christmas. We’re getting some really lovely things to give to these kids – lots of them don’t get brand new, shiny things to unwrap in an ordinary year, so we’re working hard to make this one special.

    So thank you to all of you – Aunties and friends – for your gifts of cash and kind (and kindness) for helping us get all this done.

    Nga mihi nui,

    The Aunties

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  • What the Aunties did - September 2016

      2 October 2016

    What the Aunties Did – September 2016

    Over the last four weeks, this is what the Aunties have done with everyone’s donations of money and stuff…

    We paid for a person to have counselling, and also spent $550 to fix a car that was vital for getting kids to school on the other side of the city from the safe place they are staying right now.

    We paid the power and the phone bill for one of the women who is no longer in refuge and was in dire straits after having her benefit cut. Those kinds of pressures can sometimes lead to worse events so we felt it was right to step in and provide relief for her.

    We also spent almost $1000 on food, and bought First Aid Kits for two refuges. And we’ve worked on building up our stockpile of kids’ clothes, sheets and towels, and socks; sourced some makeup for a teenager just arrived at refuge; and bought some hairbrushes.

    When Aunty Jackie visits the refuge each week to chat with the women and find out what they need, she takes food with her to share. KFC is pretty popular. They’ve asked Aunty Jackie to let us all know how thankful they are that we’re out here doing this stuff, and that knowing people are thinking of them makes it all a bit a less lonely.

    And October 1st was the annual “Pamper Day” for single mothers – they had make-up and nails done, and shoulder massages from volunteers. This is something Kris, who runs the refuge, organises once a year for women who have been in the refuge (and some who haven’t) while their kids are taken to Chipmunks for the day.

    That’s a pretty nice list of “needs” and “wants” met for September by the Aunties. As always, we need to replenish funds so we can do more in October so PLEASE SHARE THIS with whanau and friends. Here’s the link for donations:

    Nga mihi nui,

    The Aunties.

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  • What The Aunties Did - August 2016

      7 September 2016

    Thanks to you – your donations of dollars, and your donations of stuff – this is what the Aunties did this August.

    When women leave unsafe places, they often leave with nothing. This month we were able to buy $1000 worth of Gift Cards to give to women in the Refuge (or who are leaving Refuge) to buy things they need from the Warehouse. And we bought $750 worth of Pak’n’Save vouchers to help women fill their cupboards when they leave Refuge, and for women in the community who have nothing and are finding it difficult to leave. We also helped some women to pay their power and phone bills, and another woman was able to get her door fixed.

    One woman needed to get out of Auckland quickly and go to a safe city further south so we gave her $300 to help tide her over, and we got her some KFC for dinner before she left.

    Something we feel particularly thrilled about is that, by collaborating with a very kind and generous dentist, we helped one of the women from Refuge get her teeth repaired. She now has the most remarkable smile. Costs were partly covered by ACC and then the dentist donated her time. Aunty Phil went with her to the appointments, and we sent a bunch of flowers to the dentist afterwards to say thank you. The refuge will be using this dentist from now on and we will cover any costs incurred. This need occurs only a few times a year.

    Aunty Phil also visited WINZ with one of the women to advocate for her, and help her navigate those difficult waters with great success.

    The Aunties made a contribution of $300 towards one of the women attending an Outward Bound course, and we bought a reconditioned laptop for a mother who is focused on getting back into work and needed a computer to do this. We also managed to find another second-hand laptop for Auntie Jackie so she can continue to do all the online stuff the Aunties requires.

    And of course we bought food for the Refuge. We also spent $58 on mosaic tiles for the women’s art therapy, and summer seeds for the Refuge garden. And on Mondays, when Auntie Jackie visits the Refuge to talk with the women about what they need, she takes delicious treats with her to make it as much fun as possible. This is when Jackie gets those lists of things – the shoes, warm coats, duvets, rugby balls, hair-straighteners, knickers and so forth – that so many of you generously provide.

    So those are some of the things you helped the Aunties do this August. Nga mihi nui!

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  • The last of the tagged Te Puea Marae money

      21 June 2016
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    Hi everyone.

    I spent the last of the tagged Te Puea funds on another shop for groceries to put in the food parcels for families who are homeless.

    Watch this space, however. I think we are going to organise a day out for the families currently staying at Te Puea, and we will be asking if people want to give a little towards that. Admission costs, a bus, lunch for about 35 people.(You will need to tag these funds). Stay tuned!

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  • Te Puea Marae has it's own givealittle now.

      2 June 2016

    Hey, all.

    Just wanted to update you.

    Of the $3000 that poured in last weekend, I have spent another $300 on towels, and $760 on mass toiletries and sanitary pads that I took out there yesterday afternoon.

    I've talked to the Te Puea people, and I've put the rest of the money ($1500) on their givealittle.

    I'll do another toiletries shop next week, and that will be that, for that method of support.

    If you'd like to support them, they are feeding and clothing, and looking after a great number of people. And will be doing so for at least the next 3 months.

    Their givealittle is:

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  • Te Puea Marae donations

      30 May 2016

    Yesterday, you poured more than $3000 into this givealittle.

    So. This Tuesday, Aunty Alex and I are going to Royal Oak Pak N Save to get another $500 of toiletries.

    And the week after that, Aunty G and I will get another $500 of toiletries.

    And this will keep going until someone says: that's enough! (Which they never really do, by the way).

    And now, I'm going to let my video do the talking.

    Thank you. From my heart to yours.

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  • Big spenders!

      25 May 2016
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    Hi everyone! Well, last Saturday, we had a very successful shop, thank you all so much.

    We were able to buy groceries for 5 women, 2 tubs of nonperishables for women as and when they arrive, fill 10 toilet bags, and buy 17 Pak N Save gift vouchers (10 x $50 and 7 X $100).

    All up we spent $2500. You know what I'm going to say.

    None of this, none of it, happens without you.

    We also were able to get N an eye test and new glasses, so she's very happy.

    And I'm going to do a shop tomorrow to provide $1000 worth of nonperishable food for homeless families who will be staying at Te Puea Marae, here in Mangere.

    See what you do?

    So many people helped, so much love.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.



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  • Easter eggs for all!

      3 April 2016
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    Hi everyone.

    Well, thanks to all of you, we raised over $400 towards the Easter eggs, and so we spent.....yes $400 on Easter eggs. Marvellous! Everyone was really well pleased. A couple of Aunties and I did up easter baskets for 11 families in the two refuges, and also popped in deodorant for the women (they'd all been asking for it).

    At the same time - since I was in KMart - I bought them a new blender for the house, and 2 glass sets, which were much needed.

    Once again, you made this possible and I'm not quite sure what I'd do without your continued support. Thank you so so much.

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  • A bit of a catch up

      10 March 2016
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    Hi everyone! Gosh, well since we last spoke, we have done an enormous Xmas shop for the 25 women. We spent around $4000 all up on 25 food gift baskets and I also bought 20 $1000 Pak and Save vouchers that Kris has used to give to women as they come in to the refuge, and women in high need.

    We have also done the first big grocery shop of the year - I spent $1765 on groceries for 4 women and $100 pak n save vouchers for 9 women (5 in another refuge, and 4 women who preferred the vouchers to the groceries).

    I am going to buy 6 $20 prezzie vouchers so that the staff have something to give teenagers when it's their birthdays.

    Coming up is a biggie! I am currently trying to raise $3000 because a beautiful company- Beauty Collective - has given us 135 toilet bags. These toilet bags, when filled, will be given to the women at this particular refuge over the course of a year (there are around 56 women per year who use their residential services) and then half will be given away to other refuges in Auckland.

    And then! There's Easter! Every year, I buy the kids and mums Easter Eggs - that's not a high cost item but it's something they really love.

    So that's what I've been spending the money on lately. I hope you all feel it's good value - you are certainly providing for quite a number of people every time you give.

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  • New glasses

      29 October 2015

    Kia Ora.

    (I don't really know that anyone reads these updates, but I'll press on!)

    I'm pretty excited to tell M that I have the money for a visit to the optometrist, and her new glasses.

    So thanks! So much. It's a pretty amazing thing to be able to say to someone - you know what? You need glasses, and let's just do that.

    It will never ever be old, the ability to do that.

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  • A new telly!

      28 October 2015

    Kia ora kotou. A wee while ago, the refuge telly got smashed (a ball being thrown inside). Thanks to you all, I was able to give Kris money to buy a new TV, and we will be paying for it to be installed as well.

    The telly is really important at the refuge - it's a babysitter, it takes kids minds off the uncertainty and unsettledness in their lives, it allows the women to escape, it becomes a method of bonding (who doesn't love Home And Away?). So thanks everyone - telly has been sorely missed, and it meant a great deal yesterday to tell Kris we would pay for a new one.

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  • Refuge shopping

      2 October 2015

    Hi everyone! Another successful shop was done yesterday at good old Mangere Pak N Save (I think they need to make us shareholders).

    There are 4 women in the house and they all gave us a shopping list. We were able to buy most everything they wanted, included meat and veggies so everyone was thrilled. Thank you so much!

    We were also able to stock the pantry with big containers of spreads, and cereals, and we filled 3 tubs with nonperishables for women to recieve as they arrive. All of this cost just $842, which was spectacularly under my budget, so more for next time!

    Each ordinary grocery shop takes us under an hour - we had 7 people doing the shop this time - and the major job is loading it all into the refuge van and getting it back to the refuge.

    Many many thanks to everyone who makes this possible - the people who give so generously of their money and time. We do this once a term so the next one will be in November, followed by the Xmas shop in December. So look for details, and come along and help us.

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  • Rehoming vouchers

      17 September 2015

    Thanks everyone for your continued support. I've just been able to put $1000 in the refuge bank account. They will buy vouchers for the women who are leaving soon, that will be used to buy bits for their new households. Hurrah!

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  • Thank you so much!

      18 August 2015
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    I just wanted to thank you all for getting onboard this new enterprise to provide for general needs, as well as food.

    This morning, I have put $500 into the refuge account so that K can buy Pak N Save vouchers for the women to do their own shopping. We do this once a term, and then in the holidays is when we do the shopping for the women.

    I've also been able to tell the refuge gardener that she can order seeds for the garden and that we will pay for them.

    And in 10 days, I'm taking one of the women shoe shopping.

    So thanks, guys.

    The women, the staff, and I so appreciate it.

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