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A collection depot for donated items such as toiletries, non-perishable food, bedding, toys and other useful items has been established at the Methven Resort. A storage room at the resort is filling fast and donations have been arriving since Sunday.
The collection effort has been set up by Methven resident Wendy White who saw the Facebook campaign launched by NZ Gifts of Love and Strength, a volunteer group working to assist families impacted by severe tragedies, and decided her rural town could help out.
"There is a need for all of these basic items and it’s a matter of collecting them, boxing them and getting them to where they are needed," Wendy said.
She said she was grateful to Methven Resort owner Ole Wallis and to the people in the generous community in which she lived.
Items delivered this week included sanitary items, cat and dog food, toys, books and sheets.
"Toiletries are a big thing needed, as well as items like baby formula, baby wipes, nappies and clothing for all ages" said Wendy, who is busy juggling work with boxing up and labelling boxes.
She said the collection point would run until January 18 and items would then be freighted by Wareings to the NZ Gifts of Love and Strength warehouse in Christchurch.
From there it was hoped to get the donations air freighted out quickly and into the hands of those affected by the fires.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires and also to firefighters putting their lives on the line.
"My dad was a firefighter for many years and my brother is a firefighter and paramedic, so it’s something close to my heart."
Donated items can be dropped off at the storage area to the left of the main entrance at Methven Resort between 10am and 4pm most days, or can be left at reception at other times.
A similar collection point has also been set up at Ashburton’s Japanese restaurant Miyabi.
A community craft day will also be held at the Mt Mutt Memorial Hall this Saturday between 10am and 2pm where people can share a cup of tea and also make cards or drawings to show support for the families affected by the Australian bushfires. There is a gold coin entry to cover costs and those attending are asked to bring craft items. Any surplus craft supplies can be dropped off at the Methven Resort and Miyabi prior to the event.