Christmas cheer initiative opens

Giving this year’s Christmas Cheer a helping hand are Stella Noakes, Cambridge Salvation Army corps officer Aimee Noakes, Leighton Noakes and ‘reindeer dog’ Ruby. 

Despite some lockdown-related challenges, this year’s Cambridge Christmas Cheer is on.

Each year, the Cambridge Committee of Social Services (CCOSS) organises ‘Christmas Cheer’ for local families in need, and CCOSS chairperson Harriet Dixon is pleased it has the go-ahead.

“It’s a great opportunity for locals to help families in need. Donated new toys or festive food will go to families in our community who need extra support this Christmas. There are families having a really difficult time, and we know Christmas Cheer will put a smile on their children’s faces.”

Christmas Cheer is a joint initiative involving Cambridge social agencies, churches and community groups, including The Salvation Army, Cambridge Community House, Lions, Cambridge Community Marae, Mana Hapori, Cambridge Police, Cambridge Community Board, Citizens Advice Bureau, Interlock NZ, and Neighbourhood Support.

Recipient families are nominated by these agencies. Last year, 112 families were helped with a grocery voucher, food and toys.

Harriet said it was easy to donate, and collections will run to December 10.

“You can drop donations of new, unwrapped toys or Christmas food into the businesses that will have Christmas Cheer collection bins.”

The participating businesses are Paper Plus, Toys 101, Countdown, and Redberry Supermarket.  Once Covid restrictions ease, collection locations will include the Salvation Army, Cambridge Community House, and Cambridge i-Site.  The Christmas Cheer, Cambridge NZ Facebook page will be updated with changes.

Those preferring to donate money can contact Harriet Dixon on 029 201 4369 or pay via internet banking directly to the Cambridge Committee of Social Services bank account (03-1568-0015074-00).

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