The Blankets 4 kids 4 Winter “Wall of Blankets” in the War Memorial Information Centre. From left to right, Lole Turner Volunteer from All Saints, Bill Charkow Rotary Convenor, Sarah Laing Howick Village Association, Chontelle Bidois and Ann Voykovich Stand Children’s Services, Jane Newbury Howick Village Association. Foreground, Reverend Lucy Nguyen All Saints and Libby Giddey Our Lady Star of the Sea churches
The Blankest 4 Kids 4 Winter appeal organized by Howick Rotary and supported by the Howick Village Association drew to a close last Tuesday. With blankets still flowing in the end result will be in excess of 1500 blankets donated to help keep needy families and kids warm this winter.
Bill Charkow Rotary Convenor said “the response has been amazing across the whole community with individuals, families, schools and the BNI and Howick Click business groups making donations. Last year we collected around 350 blankets so this year’s effort has been incredible. As a club we are thrilled that the community has got in behind the project and has been so generous. People have donated excess home blankets, the Knitting in Public Group made and donated lovely colourful blankets, crochet squares have been made into blankets and there is a substantial quantity of brand-new blankets that people have purchased and donated, some still in boxes, in addition there were donations of children’s gloves, socks and knitted hats. Just marvellous!”
Jane Newbury Howick Village Association Town Centre Manager said that “it was great to support Rotary in such a worthwhile community project and we are thrilled with such an outstanding end result. Lending our resources to the project and assisting Rotary’s well-oiled machine was a privilege and a pleasure”. 

The three charities who will distribute the blankets to families in need, Stand Children’s Services, All Saints Anglican Church and Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church were invited to the War Memorial Information Centre last Thursday to see the huge range of blankets that had been collected and stored there. Those in attendance were Chontelle Bidois and Ann Voykovich, Intensive Family Service Team Leaders from Stand Children’s Services, Reverend Lucy Nguyen and Lole Turner from All Saints Anglican Church and Libby Giddey from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. They all expressed their amazement and gratitude for the generosity of the Howick community with Reverend Lucy summing it up in saying “from the warmth of hearts to the warmth of homes in need”. 

With a large number of infant and smaller blankets donated again, as last year, Littlemore the charity that looks after the needs of babies across Auckland will also be a recipient of the community’s generosity.

Rotary President Madeleine East commented “based on the success of the first year, we committed more resources to the project this year, even developing a new logo, and it is wonderful that the Howick community has really embraced the project so generously and we have achieved such an amazing result. It will be an annual event in our calendar so watch out for Blankets 4 Kids 4 Winter in May next year!”