Auckland usually holds 2 big pack making days a year with around 60-80 volunteers.  With Covid 19 putting paid to large group activities, we thought we’d try something different this year.

Our Waikato branch got a team of high school students boarding at DIO together to make up the 600 toiletry packs needed and then drove them up to Auckland:

Our flat pack team and Northland branch met one Saturday afternoon to build all the packs with just 5 people plus me for the last 2 hours (excluding the toiletry bags):

And then the following weekend, 4 of us finished them off by inserting the made up toiletry bags:


It worked like a charm and saved a heap of time and preparation by allowing us to do everything at our storage lockers.  Big thanks to the team at National Storage who allowed us to spread all over the corridors for the day and borrow a couple of extra units for the over flow.

Auckland Vehicle Rentals came to the party once again by loaning us a 3 tonne truck (which is the largest truck you can hire on a regular drivers license) and made transport them a breeze.  Learning from our mistakes in the past, we purchased a bunch of tarpaulins which we used to separate the different age groups as the tend to move around a bit during the drive:

I was able to drive the entire order of 600 backpacks and duffel bags to Blue Star in Henderson early Monday morning who then arranged for them to be shipped down to their Wellington warehouse where they will be distributed from around the North Island to social workers who request them.


Huge thank you to everyone who played a part of making this all happen.  I am Louise, the Auckland co-ordinator who was also in the middle of selling my house and relocating my business, so I was dreading the thought of having to organise the pack day, but thanks to Debbie, Mirjam and Karen who had everything under control I was able to just turn up for the last part with a small team to finish it all off.  Great work everyone.  Given how well it all went, I think we’ll be doing it this way in future instead of the massive pack days offsite.  I realise that this is a day that our volunteers all enjoy and feel like they can really get involved, but it does take a LOT of behind the scenes work to pull it off.