Well-known realtor Ray White and Rotary Club Queenstown have joined forces launching a Christmas gift drive to enable struggling locals to enjoy a better festive season this year. Locals are being asked to contribute new gifts for all ages to The Little Ray of Giving initiative which aims to provide presents and special treats for families facing challenges in the community. Queenstowners are being urged to help by donating a wrapped present and popping it under the Christmas tree in one of three Ray White offices in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Frankton.
“It’s really straightforward and people can really make a difference to someone who might otherwise go without this festive season,” he said. “All people need to do is purchase a small gift for someone of any age and gender. It couldn’t be easier. “In a town like Queenstown it’s easy to think that financial hardship doesn’t exist, but we know that’s simply not true. “There are a number of children, families and even individuals in the Wakatipu who will spend Christmas alone and with very little, while others will have more than they need.”
People can donate newly-purchased gifts such as age-appropriate toys, clothes for children, families and individuals, as well as speciality non-perishable food, toiletries and household goods and other items which “would mean the world to a family in need”. Organisers are also asking local businesses to help where they can and will “willingly accept” kind donations from those who can donate goods, services and activities to a deserving local family.
Queenstown Rotary Club President Peter Laurenson said he “welcomed the idea” which is “extremely important to many in the local community”. “There’ll be many Queenstowners who’ll be doing it hard this Christmas. The Little Ray of Giving enables many locals – including families and those on their own – to have a decent festive holiday with a little joy,” said Mr Laurenson.
For the inaugural year all gifts donated will be distributed by the Rotary Club to Happiness House Queenstown
. Established in 1991 Happiness House is a not-for-profit community support centre which provides much-needed services and support for those living in the Wakatipu District. While it works with a number of local organisations and funding streams it relies heavily on donations and volunteers to ensure everyone in the Wakatipu forms an integral and important part of the community.
Happiness House Manager Karen Stuart said the gift drive would go a long way to helping some local families have a “better than normal Christmas”. “I don’t think people realise how even the smallest of gifts can mean the world to someone. Even the basic items most of us take for granted can be a huge help to someone experiencing hard times. “There’s an underlying number of locals in the community facing a variety of challenges and The Little Ray of Giving drive is a really great way for those more fortunate than others to help,” said Ms Stuart.
All gifts must be new and unused and can be taken to the Queenstown office on Church Street, the Frankton office by the roundabout in Frankton Village, or the Arrowtown office on Buckingham Street. “People just need to identify if the gift is for a male or female and the age range of the recipient and thanks to the Rotary Club of Queenstown their gift will be delivered to a local family who will appreciate the lift to their festive season,” said Mr Smith.
Ray White have over 50 offices collecting gifts for disadvantaged children in their respective communities across New Zealand in December 2013.