Two thousand guests are expected at Spark Arena on Christmas day for the annual City Mission lunch. The Mission team’s been planning the event for months, hundreds of volunteer hours have already been racked up with a further 500 volunteers set to help host on the day.
For most guests the lunch is the only celebration they will have in an otherwise stressful and difficult holiday season.
“The guests at our Christmas lunch join us for all sorts of reasons,” says City Missioner Chris Farrelly. “They may have suffered trauma or sadness, be homeless or living in poverty and unable to afford to have their Christmas meal at home. They may be elderly or alone and have nowhere else to go. Or they may be estranged from their families. Whatever their circumstances, the Mission welcomes them on Christmas Day to share a meal and company.”
“Of course all this is made possible thanks to the generosity to the team at SPARK arena – it is another example of the extreme generosity we get to see so regularly at the Mission.”
Six hundred people volunteer their time to make this lunch happen – further proof that there is more than enough Christmas to go around.
The Mission’s Christmas lunch will be held at the Spark Arena, and doors open at 11.30am on Christmas Day. Entertainment is provided until lunch is served at 12.30pm, and every guest will receive a gift before going home.
The lunch is a massive logistical exercise for the City Mission. Here are some of the numbers:
Chicken drumsticks: 2,000
Gourmet potatoes: 300kg
Roast kumara: 240kg
Salad – mesclun lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber
Ice-cream: 380 litres
Fruit: 100 litres
Jelly: 150 litres
Christmas cake 2500 slices
Table cloths: 200
Presents on the day: 2500
Lollies: 2000 bags
Chocolate: 2500 bars
Drinks: 4500 bottles
Mr Farrelly is grateful to the Auckland community for their generosity this Christmas. “Your help makes Christmas possible for thousands of families, particularly children, who live in desperate poverty. Your donations make a significant difference to people who are struggling.”
It’s not too late to make a financial donation toward the Mission’s work, both at Christmas and into 2019.
Over 80% of the Mission’s services are funded through donations, and year-round, they provide low-cost healthcare, drug and alcohol services, outreach support for rough sleepers and isolated elderly people, an activities programme and community centre for central Auckland’s homeless population, and a Crisis Care service for low-income individuals and families.
Donations can be made at www.aucklandcitymission.org.nz