Sending love to those alone

Greerton Lotto is one of four drop box sites in the greater Tauranga region.

As the end-of-year pressure to honour each and every Christmas wish of our loved ones grows, one group of volunteers has come up with a solution to help ease the stress.

It’s a simple gift with no price label, but one which has an unmeasurable amount of value: to send love.

Sending Love is a nationwide movement helping to collect Christmas cards for people who are alone this year.

Hannah Rodgers, the brainchild behind it all, says the idea came to her while she and her son were completing a ‘100 days of kindness’ challenge.

“On one of our days we decided to write cards to the elderly in rest homes who don’t usually get visitors around Christmas,” she says.

“We phoned a few rest homes and realised just how much of an overwhelming need there was.

“We realised we could not write enough cards alone, so we posted on a local Facebook group page asking for volunteers. It pretty much spiralled from there.”

More than 1000 volunteers now make up the community, with around 140 drop box collections littered at businesses around the country, including four here in Tauranga.

“It’s all about giving someone a bit of Christmas cheer and putting a smile on their face, who wouldn’t normally get a card or a visitor,” says Hannah.

“It’s not going to fix the bigger picture, but it helps to take away even just a moment of loneliness.”

She says locals have until December 14 to write and drop off cards.

Those that would like to write cards are asked to fill cards with love and creativity, leave envelopes unsealed, ensure messages are legible and avoid religious quotes in case their recipient is not religious.

Card writers may also leave their address for further communication.

Once cards have been received by drop boxes, the cards are collected by volunteers, sorted, and given to local rest homes around the city.

Local drop boxes can be found at Greerton Lotto, Western Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Paper Plus Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Hardware and Plumbing.