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PEOPLE Random kindness provides hope

Glen Eden businesswoman Adrienne Baugh remembers tough times when she was a child and how her family held garage sales to raise money to put food on the table. With that at the back of her mind, creating a local Basket Brigade in

2006 through the internationally renowned Anthony Robbins Foundation was a perfect fit for the woman who likes nothing better than helping strangers receive baskets of food, household items and toys at Christmas. “Anthony Robbins came from a very poor family in America and

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one Christmas the family was anonymously given a food hamper. The young boy thought it was great that someone cared enough to give them something for nothing, That thought formed the basis of the Basket Brigade more than 30 years ago,” says Adrienne. Since then it’s estimated that two million homeless or needy people around the world have anonymously received the gift baskets. Adrienne began the local Basket Brigade in 2006, calling on friends

and family to put their hands in their pockets to help those having an especially hard time at Christmas. Her staff were quick to jump on board too, holding various fundraising events or having weekly donations taken from their wages to go towards the baskets. “Every item and every dollar goes towards the hampers. It’s a team effort and the staff get a real buzz from doing something so worthwhile,” says Adrienne. As Christmas nears Adrienne and her volunteer team pull out all the

stops locating, collecting from donors or buying gifts for the baskets – toiletries, canned or dried food, grocery items, books, drawing and art items, toys and clothing for children and seasonal treats. “”We try to keep it simple and create as many baskets as possible.

We did 70 last year and if one kid goes ‘oh wow’ at a small gift from the basket, that’s just great. A colouring book and crayons can be a huge treat for a child who has nothing,” Adrienne says. Because of privacy issues, the Basket Brigade works with churches,

the City Mission, women’s refuges, the Salvation Army and other community groups who deliver the baskets on Christmas Eve as anonymous gifts from strangers. While a number of local businesses support Adrienne and her team,

she says it gets harder each year so they’re always looking for donations of gifts or cash, or people who’re able to volunteer their time. “It may not change the life of everyone involved but we know it helps

many families have renewed hope in their future – hope generated by the kindness and generosity of others,” Adrienne says.

Contact Adrienne on 813 9174 or New Lynn Building Centre

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