WelCom December 2023
Every Christmas season, the Benjamin Hughes Hair Salon in Te Whare Manaaki Makawe Ōtaki, embraces the spirit of joy and hope by organising a toy drive for a worthy cause.
This year, the salon has chosen to join hands with ‘Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’, an organisation dedicated to supporting grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. The decision to partner with this organisation was driven by the recognition of the remarkable work these grandparents do, especially in the Kāpiti Coast area says salon owner, Benjamin Hughes.
‘As many may not be aware, the Kāpiti Coast is home to 58 families where grandparents are raising some 96 children. The sheer number of families taking on this responsibility in such a relatively small area is quite substantial,’ says Benjamin.
This commitment to family and community struck a chord with Benjamin, who has many clients who are themselves raising their grandchildren.
‘Over the years, I have engaged in heartfelt conversations with them, gaining insights into the challenges and hardships they face. These conversations have deepened my understanding of the immense dedication and love the grandparents pour into their role as primary caregivers.’
With this understanding in mind, the Benjamin Hughes Hair Salon is calling upon its clients and the wider community to participate in its Christmas toy drive. ‘The salon is seeking new, unwrapped toys and new clothing suitable for children in the age range of 6 to 16 years. Given the prevalence of teenagers in the Kāpiti Coast, these age groups are particularly in need of support during the holiday season,’ says Benjamin.
Commencing 20 November and running through to Sunday, 17 December, people are encouraged to drop off their toy donations at the salon, 6/200 Main Highway, Ōtaki. The new toys and clothing will be donated to the families in time for Christmas.
‘The generosity of the community will go a long way in brightening the holidays for the children and their grandparents,’ says Benjamin.
As a way of thanking the community’s generosity, for every donation made during the toy drive, individuals can enter a competition to win a hair makeover says Ben.
‘In the spirit of Christmas joy and hope, we are looking forward to seeing the community come together to help make a difference in the lives of these children and their dedicated grandparents. By giving the gift of joy and support, we can help to ensure every child’s Christmas on the Kāpiti Coast is filled with love and happiness.’