Kristy Rowe saw a real need in the area, for children and families who feel too afraid to ask for help.

The idea stemmed from a conversation with a close friend, who provides foster care through Oranga Tamariki (Child, Youth and Families), when a child was dropped off wearing clothes too small for them.

I’ve always enjoyed helping people out,” says Kristy, “and after speaking with my friend I realised there was a certain stigma attached to asking for help. The big reason I started the charity is because I wanted to take that stigma away, take the judgement away.”

Kristy started a Facebook page called ‘Helping Families’ and says things have steadily snowballed from there. “The aim is to help people who need support, whatever their circumstances may be, and connect them with what they need and who they can talk to.”

The service is completely confidential, and Kristy is open to anyone who wants to help out, whether it be by donations, volunteering or sponsorship.

At the moment, the biggest things we need is new undergarments for children and adults, clean bedding and blankets, clothing, shoes and plastic storage bins. I would love any business support as well!” Kristy says that they have a shipping container full of items ready to go, and will need more storage space in the very near future.

The trust has been donated space at the Headingly Centre to put two 40ft storage containers and Kristy is looking for sponsorship, “the opportunity for a business to advertise their support is there.”

We also need sliding doors, signage and racking for the container units. Any money coming in, that is what it is going towards at the moment.”

Kristy’s vision is to expand into an area where people can go to for support, “somewhere people can come to for help, where we can provide information and even food parcels.”

Working with agencies like Oranga Tamariki, WINZ, Barnados and Plunket is something Kristy would love to do. “if anyone would like to get in contact with me, for more information, they can go to our ‘Helping Families’ Facebook page, we love to help.” Kristy is currently putting together a Go Fund Me page for donations. Check the Helping Families Facebook page for up-to-date info, open days and times. Contact Kristy by email kristy@helpingfamilies.org.nz

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