Shimmering show of charity

The stars came out at daytime in Dunedin’s Octagon, as cans donated to Presbyterian Support Otago’s annual Octacan appeal were formed into a replica of the Matariki constellation.

PSO chief executive Jo Rowe said about 20 staff and volunteers helped with yesterday’s collection and appeal.

"At this time of year our resources often start to get low so we aim for Octacan to keep us going between now and Christmas ... We are so grateful to everyone who helps, because we could not run without their support."

Presbyterian Support Otago staff and volunteers form their own celestial bodies alongside those...
Presbyterian Support Otago staff and volunteers form their own celestial bodies alongside those created from cans given to the PSO Octacan appeal. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
In each of the stars there were comments which related both to Matariki and the food being collected by PSO, Ms Rowe said."We are seeing more and more new families presenting to us, particularly at this time of the year, as the family income goes on heating and clothing and food is often the last thing on the list," Ms Rowe said.

"We are seeing an increase in demand, we are seeing an increase in need."

Volunteer George Blake with a selection of cans given to the appeal. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Volunteer George Blake with a selection of cans given to the appeal. Photo: Gregor Richardson
All cans donated went into the PSO foodbank, the largest in Otago, and would be distributed to people in need throughout the region, she said.

Anecdotal reports were that with the economy still suffering from a Covid-19 slowdown and people struggling to find work, demand for the goods contributed yesterday would be strong.

"People are working less hours, or jobs have been lost. We are seeing a significant increase in people approaching us."

mike.houlahan@odt.co.nz

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