Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday December 18
Est. 2003 115542 Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Vol 11, No 50 General 271 8000 Classi ed 271 8055 Delivery Enquiries 271 8014 Website www.times.co.nz 207287-V27 GLAD TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY Times Newspapers, publishers of the Howick and Botany Times, wishes our highly valued readers and business clients a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We thank you for your support this year and look forward to working with you to deliver again excellent quality newspapers in 2014. Happy holidays! By Chris Harrowell ONE of East Auckland’s largest annual charitable projects kicks off this Saturday morning with sev- eral hundred people pitching in to improve the lives of those in need. Christmas in a Box has been run- ning at Elim Christian Centre in Bot- any for the past nine years. Held this Saturday, up to 300 volunteers will pack 240 food hampers at the Botany Road church to be delivered to needy Auckland families. Money raised for the project is donated by the church’s parishion- ers, with about $40,000 being spent this year. “It’s kept growing and growing over the years,” Elim Christian Cen- tre logistics manager Darryl Booth told the Times. “The idea is for our church to support families who have had a tough year. It’s especially for those who have lost a loved one, or are struggling to provide for their family at Christmas.” Each box contains a variety of items, including a Christmas ham and pudding, mince tarts, and food staples such as four and sugar. “We’ve been raising money all year through church donations and gifts,” says Mr Booth. “People can sponsor a box, or nominate someone they know has had a tough year. It’s about giving people some hope. If it makes them smile, that’s great.” A new feature this year is the church’s partnership with Counties Manukau East Police. Sergeant Erin Johnston, Counties Manukau East Police’s domestic violence response co-ordinator, will be at Elim this Sat- urday with other police staff to help pack the hampers. “We have about 250-300 families in South-East Auckland dealing with violence,” he says. “An example of the people we work with is a 26-year-old Flat Bush woman who has seven children. “A member of our Flat Bush neigh- bourhood policing team nominated her to receive a Christmas hamper. “We identifed 40-50 families as being ideal to receive one.” Mr Johnston says he’s blown away with the generosity of the Elim com- munity. “We’re so impressed at what they’re doing,” he says. “For them to help these families is totally amazing.” Ensuring the appeal is a success is Richard Godden, Countdown super- market’s national online manager. He oversees the bulk order from Elim and keeps an eye on any items that may need to be replaced. This year’s Christmas in a Box is co-ordinated by Elim employee Nata- sha Adams. It’s the frst time she’s done it, and she can’t wait to see how it unfolds. “I’ve heard it’s a really crazy day with lots of people running around,” says Ms Adams. “We have live enter- tainment and a barbecue for the vol- unteers. One of our pastors will dress up as an elf. It sounds like a fun day.” Mr Booth says what makes the whole thing so special is the people flling the boxes get as much out of the experience as those who receive them. “The children who come along feel blessed about what they have and see there are families out there needing help,” he says. “We’re really fortu- nate to have the police on-board this year to help us make a difference in the community.” The annual Christmas in a Box project gets under way at 9am this Saturday at Elim Christian Centre, 159 Botany Road. Hampers are packed from 9-11am and delivered from 11am-1pm. Peo- ple keen to volunteer can phone the church on 538-0360. Giving boxful of hope Helping to make this year's Christmas in a Box project at Elim Christian Centre in Botany a success are, from left, Counties Manukau East Police domestic violence response co-ordinator, sergeant Erin Johnston, Elim logistics manager Darryl Booth and Christmas in a Box co-ordinator Natasha Adams. Times photo Wayne Martin DRINK-DRIVING CRIME Heat goes on boozed motorists A TRANS-Tasman police crackdown on intoxicated motorists and alcohol- related crime is being hailed as a success by one of the senior o cers involved. About 240 Counties Manukau Police o cers took part in Operation Unite, which ran in New Zealand and Australia last weekend. More than 10,000 drivers in South- East Auckland were breath-tested at compulsory police checkpoints, with 56 recording excess breath alcohol results. Counties Manukau Police district commander, Superintendent John Tims, says: "The low percentage of drivers found to have excess breath alcohol is a good indication our message has been getting through to drivers. "We're into our seventh year of Operation Unite, and 2013 has given us our best result yet, with minimal disorder and alcohol-related incidents for this time of year." Counties Manukau Police o cers ran compulsory breath-test checkpoints around the district, as well as controlled purchasing operations, to see if liquor outlet sta were selling alcohol to minors. O cers also carried out proactive patrols in known disorder hot spots. The focus of Operation Unite is to prevent alcohol-related disorder and drink-driving. It's a joint initiative of the New Zealand and Australian Police Commissioners to demonstrate "the united determination of police to challenge alcohol misuse, crime, violence and anti-social behaviour". "We consider the operation to be a success based on the number of disorder jobs we were noti ed of, compared to another Friday and Saturday night at this time of year," says Mr Tims. "Hopefully we will see this kind of positive attitude and limited alcohol-related disorder through the Christmas period." Of the 10,057 motorists breath- tested at compulsory police checkpoints in Counties Manukau as part of Operation Unite on December 13-15, 56 recorded excess breath alcohol readings. Of the 48 South-East Auckland liquor outlets checked by police during the controlled purchasing operation, six allegedly sold alcohol to minors.
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