Onehunga locals attending the annual Christmas celebration on 24 November at Jellicoe Park are being asked to bring canned food donations to contribute to The Salvation Army’s food bank, in exchange for candlelight.
In addition to the fabulous food, entertainment and of course, Santa, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board is hoping the community will rise to the occasion to support those in need.
“This year, we’re lighting up Christmas for others,” says Maria Meredith, Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board Chair. “For everyone who donates canned food, we’ll give them a candle. And when Santa comes on stage for the countdown, we all light up our candles together.”
“We wanted to change up the event and give it more purpose, despite our limited budget. It’s the perfect occasion to give back, especially for those in most need at this time so we thought this would be a nice way to do it,” explains Chair Meredith.
“And we wanted to involve everyone in the moment to light up their own candle in unison, which will hopefully build up the excitement. This is one we’re really looking forward to.”
Hamish Baxter from Royal Oak Baptist Church, who is delivering the event in partnership with the local board, is thrilled with the opportunity to give back to ‘The Sallies’.
“It makes sense to be helping families directly within our community and we wanted to team up with The Salvation Army as it is the main local food bank that has great reach.”
Festivities start at 7pm with a great selection of food trucks, activity stalls, Santa’s grotto and a jam-packed programme of performers on stage. The Salvation Army will have a base where people can drop off cans and collect LED candles throughout the evening until all are given out.
Not to be missed is Santa’s performance and the magical simultaneous lighting of hundreds of candles before the night is over.
Remember to bring canned food donation in exchange for a candle!
Onehunga Christmas in the Park is a smoke-free, zero-waste, alcohol-free event.
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