Hastings charity Thermals for Children surprised a young group of Cyclone Gabriel survivors with an unexpected gift last week.
With the support of the Hastings Catholic Diocese, the charity raises funds to provide local schools with hundreds of bundles of thermal and track pants each winter.
This year, the parish will raise more than $26,000 for 1,377 sets of thermal and track pants, which will be delivered to 30 schools in the area.
The children of the recent winners, Omahu School, were thrilled with the surprise of a warm winter when the visitors came along. It was perhaps especially welcomed, given that some children were left homeless during Cyclone Gabriel and all were left without school.
Lee Pepping and Suzanne Rose of Thermals for Children were also thrilled when they delivered a few boxes of the perfect gift.
It was the first time I was able to give thermals directly to my students, so they were very excited.
“It was very special to see their anticipation and enthusiasm,” Pepping said.
She noted that it was difficult for the students and their teachers to work in another school’s hall.
However, “they were making the best of the status quo and we felt they were happy, even if it wasn’t ideal,” she added.
gratitude and gratitude
While the gifts were being handed out, the children gathered around Pepping and Rose to hear about the Thermal for Children project. They learned how many schools this charity supports, the funding needed, what the clothes are like and where they come from.
Pepping said the children seemed very excited to have the clothes all their own when the teachers started taking the clothes out of the boxes.
Most of the children expressed their gratitude to Pepping and Rose and the people of the Catholic parish of Hastings.
They thanked me not only for the warm clothes they gave me, but also for coming to deliver the clothes and telling me about the project.
Pepping said the kids were interested in her and Rose’s story.
“They were so grateful for the gift for all of us and seemed so happy because it was the first time we met all the students and staff at their school.”
Each of the children spoke beautifully and confidently, and then sang a beautiful waitata about Omahu School for the two women.
“It was so inspiring to hear the children and teachers sing so passionately about their school,” Pepping said.
“Their smiles lit up, their eyes lit up, their laughter filled our learning space.
“We are very grateful to the groups and organizations that are thinking of Omahu School, especially Pepping and her church group,” said the principal of the school.
“People around Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia and Israel kindly donated items ranging from handmade quilts to knitted scarves and hats, cards, letters, books and thousands of dollars. ”
Pepping and Rose aim to have all the warm winter clothes delivered to participating schools by the end of May.
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https://cathnews.co.nz/2023/05/29/gifts-surprise-cyclone-gabrielle-hit-school/ Surprise gift Cyclone Gabriel hit school Surprise gift Cyclone Gabriel hit school