Helping Aucklanders
in Desperate need

Mothers and grandmothers make up majority of people seeking Mission’s support over Christmas

Mothers and grandmothers make up majority of people seeking Mission’s support over Christmas

January 11, 2017 Posted in Uncategorised by Auckland City Mission

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


Note to editors:

Chris Farrelly, Auckland City Missioner, is available for further comments

DDI: 09 303 9263

Mobile: 021 726098 Email:


For more information, please contact:

Alexis Sawyers, Team Leader – Fundraising

DDI: 09 303 9780

Mobile: 021 120 5989 Email:

*Images are also available on request.

This Christmas, with your help, the Mission will:

  • Provide 4,114 Christmas emergency food parcels, enabling families to celebrate Christmas at home;
  • Distribute 8,000 presents to Auckland children who would otherwise miss out, including through other community organisations;
  • Host 2,000 guests at our Christmas Lunch
  • Continue to be there every day for Aucklanders in desperate need



Throughout December


‘Become Someone’s Angel’ fundraising site:



The Mission’s dedicated fundraising microsite,, is now live. Create a unique fundraising page for yourself, your school or your business and share your results with friends, family and colleagues.



Weekends in December


Silo Park Markets


From Friday, 9th, each weekend in December Silo6 will be transformed into the Become Someone’s Angel Forest. The rough, industrial interior will be softened by the presence of Christmas trees. Visitors can purchase a pair of paper angel wings and share their message of hope by tying their wings to one of the festive branches.


Throughout December


Santa’s Helpers

All Aucklanders are encouraged to become Santa’s Helpers by collecting cash donations, new gifts and non-perishable food items for those most in need. A big thank you to our partners at Urgent Couriers who have delivered Mission collection boxes to Santa’s Helpers so far. Mission drivers can also pick up collections from our Santa’s Helpers in time for Christmas. To register as a Santa’s Helper and for more information, contact Mackenzie Pickert at or on (09) 303 9261.
Throughout December


Donate presents via ASB

Every Christmas, the Mission distributes thousands of gifts to children who, otherwise, would go without. You can donate new, unwrapped presents at your local ASB branch. For more  information, please contact Mackenzie Pickert at or on (09) 303 9261.