Otahuhu Rotary member Richette Rodger commented that “Otahuhu Rotary has a lot of awesome projects, but a new one for us that was by far most rewarding both for Otahuhu Rotary and more importantly the wider Otahuhu community, was the Otahuhu Giving Trailer.”
The club tried this for the first time leading up to the Christmas period of 2020, a time when after a year of Covid disruption and heartbreak, there were many families finding Christmas a tough time.
The Rotary Club of Otahuhu in partnership with the Otahuhu Business Association parked a trailer in the main street of Otahuhu for a week in late November 2020. Utilising word of mouth and a large social media campaign using the Rotary Club of Otahuhu and Otahuhu social media platforms, the club encouraged the local community and local businesses to donate to the trailer by way of food and non-perishable items or new children’s Christmas toys.
The response was over whelming! This heart-warming support came not only from the local Otahuhu community, but also from local’s businesses who came out in droves! As an example, a local construction company doing road works in Otahuhu at the time donated over $1000 worth of groceries and another small local Mainfreight owner driver donated another $1000 worth of groceries.
We were able to give over 300 well stocked food parcels to two local primary schools to deliver to the family’s they had identified as needing the most help during the Christmas period.
This is a project that was new to Otahuhu Rotary, but we knew it would be one of the most important for 2020. Through conversations with our local principals, we had identified that due to the effects of covid-19 on families by way of redundancies or large families having had to live off wage subsidies alone the effects were far more reaching than the lockdown period and many families were not going to financially make it through Christmas without a lot of support.
The impact was so profound on all involved that this will be an ongoing project for the Rotary Club of Otahuhu.
- Richette Rodger, President/President-Elect RC Otahuhu and Otahuhu Town Manager