One of the key objectives of Rotary is to provide support where we can to those in need. We know how Covid increased that need for so many young people and families over the past year. How best could we help within our limited resources? The media made it clear our local Foodbanks were struggling due to unprecedented demand. Members decided we should dig deep and provide financial assistance. With some of the funds raised through our projects such as our annual Bookarama, along with personal donations from members, we were able to provide funding close to $20k between 'Stand Children's Services, All Saints Church and the Salvation Army to assist those in most need in the middle of last year and again prior to Christmas. At last night's meeting we welcomed Pene Frost, Regional Manager of 'Stand Children's Services' and also Becky Fenn and Lole Turner from All Saints Church. 
Pene Frost                                        Lole Turner                                     Becky Fenn
Regional Manager                            All Saints                                        All Saints
Stand Children Services                  Food Parcel Coordinator                 Christmas Lunch Box Coordinator                                                 
Pene told us about how Stand had to go to 'contactless" deliveries under Covid and how Rotary's support had helped buy bulk food and blankets that were then dispensed into family lots. Sadly many of the families are transient with no permanent home as such. Lole informed us that the first donation for Food Parcels was a life line as they had almost run out of funding at the time and she was having sleepless nights worrying about what to do. The additional Food Parcel funding prior to Christmas was used to make a real difference to a significant number of families. Becky told us about the Christmas Lunch Box Appeal and how the members donations had really bought “the Gift of Christmas” to a lot of local families that were recommended by social workers, doctors and other local professionals who had contact with them.  Members were visibly moved by many of the heart-felt stories of the challenges so many families are facing at present. Discussion will continue no doubt as to how we can do more in the future.