The gift of comfort

Santa’s sack of simple hygiene gifts for Rotorua women and children in need were delivered in December 2023, thanks to a project run by the Rotary Club of Rotorua Passport.

This is the fourth time the club has run the project, with more than 100 gift packs delivered to Te Wāhi Whakaora Rotorua and District Women’s Refuge Manager Julie Gibb to bring a small amount of comfort to those in need.

“Women and children often arrive at the refuge with not much more than what they’re wearing,” said Project Coordinator Juanita Conder. “Giving those in need a toothbrush, some deodorant, and the means to feel a bit fresher might make a big difference to those in a really tough situation”.

PICTURED: Te Wāhi Whakaora Rotorua and District Women’s Refuge Manager Julie Gibbs, left, gratefully receives the hygiene packs from Rotary Club of Rotorua Passport member Mike Keefe and Yvonne Denny.

Hygiene packs were also gifted to the Childrens Ward at Rotorua Hospital, to help parents who are arriving at hospital, often with very unwell children, and without much time to prepare.

“We are so privileged to be able to help out in this small way, and we were also the lucky recipients of a Rotary Foundation district grant, which meant we have been able to supply 200 packs to our community,” said Juanita.

Items in the packs include a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, sanitary pads, deodorant, flannel, tissues, moisturiser, lip balm and hair ties. The club also donated hand sanitiser and some items for boys, particularly, who often have unmet needs.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to give back to our local Rotorua community in a simple but practical and appreciated way,” said club President Haley Hodge. “I thank Juanita for spearheading this project for the past four years and ensuring those at the Women’s Refuge and parents at our hospital’s children’s ward have access to items to make them feel comfortable. It’s a privilege to provide this support.”

MAIN PICTURE: Rotary Club of Rotorua Passport members preparing the hygiene packs.