Christmas day has arrived and for Auckland City Mission, this means providing a celebratory lunch for up to 3.000 people.
What is the sound of Christmas? For some families it is the pain of having nothing, for the family of Hare Wihongi it is the sound of love around them.
With the support of Georgina Nathan and Manukau Urban Māori Association, Hare Wihongi’s family was able to attend the Auckland City Mission Chrsitmas Lunch once word spread of the families car breaking down.
While the family is not in dire straits or homeless, the Wihongi family hasn’t shied away from reaching out to the helping hand of Auckland City Mission.
Hare Wihongi says,”this is the time to help one another in New Zealand. Regardless of being white or dark or whatever, we must not separate ourselves.”
Ebony Nathan says, “We've heard about City Mission and what they do for a number of years, I always thought it was for people who was down and out and homeless and everything and wasn’t somewhere for me and my family can come to, but I’ve come to see that that's not the case, it's a place for people to come together from all walks of life.”
This event was first held at the Auckland Town Hall, 25 years ago and Auckland City Mission continue to feed the less fortunate, this year is also the first time Hare Wihongi and his family have attended.
The house has been filled with the love of Christmas, however the family are yet to decide whether they return as volunteers or as beneficiaries.
Hare Wihongi says, “Lots of appreciation for the workers, but most of all, full of love for my family as we know, family is first.”