Mothers and grandmothers make up majority of people seeking Mission’s support over Christmas
MEDIA RELEASE: AUCKLAND CITY MISSION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5th DECEMBER 2016
Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other female caregivers make up the majority of those who need the Auckland City Mission’s support in December.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, thousands of Aucklanders in crises will line up outside the Mission’s Drop-in Centre on Hobson Street. City Missioner, Chris Farrelly, says many of the 4,500 people who visit the Mission at this time of year are women raising children.
“Aside from parents, many of the people coming to the Mission, both in December and throughout the year, are grandparents, aunts and uncles raising children who are not their own by birth,” says Mr Farrelly.
This year marks Mr Farrelly’s first Christmas at the Mission since replacing long-standing Missioner, Dame Diane Robertson, in June. He says he is “concerned,” but optimistic about what the coming weeks will bring.
“I am concerned by the fact that many local families are unable to put food on the table, cover the cost of basic healthcare – even provide a home for their children,” he says.
“It’s sometimes tempting to judge the people who come to the Mission for support – to say that it’s their fault. The fact is that 65% of those who come to the Mission for assistance come just once or twice. These are real families, living in our city, who are in crises and need help.”
However; Mr Farrelly says he’s been equally overwhelmed over the past six months by the level of compassion and generosity shown by the wider Auckland community.
“Donors and volunteers offer their time, goods and vital funds to make this organisation a place of hope and support for those who need it most,” he says. “While the Mission employs a dedicated team of staff, we would not be able to do what we do without the support of thousands of schoolchildren, local businesses, church groups and generous families and individuals.”
Mr Farrelly says the Mission’s goal is to assist families in a meaningful way; to offer food and Christmas presents, but also offer deeper support with issues such as debt, health problems, housing and addiction. He is asking every Aucklander to ‘Become Someone’s Angel’ and donate funds to the Mission’s Christmas Appeal in order to support these core social services.
“If everyone in Auckland donated just $1 to the Mission right now, we would meet our fundraising target, setting us up to provide help and support over Christmas and well into 2017 for the most desperate in our community.
Donate to the Mission’s Christmas Appeal today at becomesomeonesangel.co.nz