The spirit of giving

Tania Lewis-Rickard and Tawhai Rickard from Kai Aroha, Brigitte Mouat from Arms of Angels and City Church Coast pastors Raki Wiringi and Karen Wiringi. Photo: Sharnae Hope.

If you’re getting a new Christmas tree this year, but don’t know what to do with your old one, then help is at hand thanks to a local charity.

This year, Arms of Angels is asking people to donate Christmas trees and decorations for families who find it difficult to afford them.

Owner Brigitte Mouat says they decided to add to the spirit of giving after discovering many families went without a Christmas tree last year.

“Every year we turn up with Christmas gifts and food packages, but often find families don’t have a Christmas tree,” says Brigitte.

“So we thought it would be really cool if we could get people to donate good condition, second-hand Christmas trees and decorations, and we could turn up on the first day of December and decorate people’s houses.”

Arms of Angels work directly with families in communities where the money raised, so every cent donated goes towards someone in your own community.

The organisation has a weekly service throughout the year that sees people donate and sponsor families for $15 a week, which amounts to a food package once a week for 6 weeks. This includes all ingredients and a recipe to create a meal, delivered to their door.

At Christmas, people can also sponsor a family by donating $50 for one family to receive food for breakfast, snacks and Christmas dinner, as well as Santa sacks full of presents.

Brigitte says this year, they will also be working with other organisations to target those who go without.

“I feel like there’s a lot of organisations in Tauranga and we’re all working independently, but I think we should be collaborating,” says Brigitte.

“If we are all able to collaborate and put our resources together, then we are able to help more people.”

Arms of Angels has approached charitable group Kai Aroha, and they will be working together to support families in need in the community.

City Church Coast in Papamoa will also be donating Christmas food boxes.

“Pastor Raki and pastor Karren have a real heart for helping those in the community and straight away offered to partner with us,” says Brigitte.

“When we go out and deliver the items, the looks on people’s faces and the happiness it brings is priceless. We are fortunate enough to witness that.”

To donate or nominate a family for food packages, go to:

To donate trees or decorations, email: or visit the Arms of Angels Facebook Page.