Sophie Handford, Dan Ralph and Penny Mikkelsen launched Share the Warmth, bringing winter clothing to those in need this winter. Photo / Rosalie Willis

Three community members came together to initiate a project to share the warmth with those in need this winter.

With the idea of ​​less than a month, the project “Share the Warmth” was started by Dan Ralph, Penny Mikkelsen and Sophie Handford with the kaupapa, “Let’s share the warmth and love between our Kāpiti whānau this winter by doing donation of any surplus winter clothing required “.

The idea – to collect and distribute warm clothes to those who need it and cannot afford it this winter.

Seeing an online article from Councilor Sophie Handford on offering warm clothing to operating stores for the winter, Penny wanted to get involved but felt she could go a step further and collect clothes for those who didn’t. the means to pay them.

“I hijacked a social media thread about donating clothes to an op store because I was worried that there were people who needed warm winter clothes who didn’t. couldn’t afford to buy them, ”Penny said.

“Dan saw the common thread and was eager to get involved in something action-oriented. And from there he grew.”

Dan said: “I saw Sophie and Penny talking online and I’m always interested in what Penny has to say, so I paid attention.

“As a police officer, I was involved in delivering gifts and gifts to the hospital, so it seemed like a good way for me to get involved.

“Penny identified there was another need, and we thought about how we could help distribute it.”

The small team has set up a Facebook page that can be joined by people who wish to donate or receive winter items, all the details are there.

They also set up a Google form to keep the service confidential.

“At the moment, we’ve built up a decent amount of inventory, with a Google form that people can fill out with incoming clothes or if they need clothes,” Sophie said.

“We have four steps to the process at the moment, where the clothes are donated, we register them, then tailor them and deliver them.”

With a good range of clothing already donated, from down jackets, thermals, warm pants and gloves to hats and shoes, no request was something the team was unable to handle.

As this is the first year of the initiative, the team is preparing to ensure that the project is sustainable and can continue and grow for years to come.

“We have already delivered some things to the food bank and they distributed it from there,” Dan said.

Already helping twenty people, almost one per day, the team has partnered with food banks and social workers in schools, and seeks to be accessible to all.

“Personally, I am aware that we make sure that the person’s self-esteem is improved through this, it is a way to help anonymously without people feeling like they have to beg for it,” he said. Dan said.

“We try to keep it as low key as possible.”

Sophie said: “It’s for anyone who needs it, age doesn’t matter.

“We saw with the lockdown that everyone was eager to give of their time and support and we are continuing that.

“We are just allowing the community to help in this way.”

Help is instantaneous with the team on site to deliver it the same day the need is received.

“Sometimes you go to other places and you have to fill out all these forms and they assess your needs – you don’t have to meet criteria for that,” Penny said.

“We don’t need to rate people, you don’t need to qualify to get something hot, we’re not here to judge you or refer you to Work and Income or anything like that.

“It’s just if you need something hot, we’ve got you covered without any strings attached.”

How can I help you?

To donate clothes, join the Share the Warmth – Kāpiti Facebook page, fill out the Google form ( or contact Sophie on 021 0894 7590.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-28 03:50:32


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