Over the years, Red Cross has been there when Frank Hardy has needed it most.

Seventy years ago, Frank was a prisoner of war, detained by the German Army. For the four years Frank was held as a prisoner, his unenviable situation became more bearable, thanks to the Red Cross.

“Never have I forgotten the arrival of the first parcel and subsequent weekly issue. They turned despair into tolerance.”

Frank reminisces about how sometimes along with tea, sugar and milk powder there would be surreptitious little notes of encouragement from whoever packed the parcel.

With so much thanks in his heart to Red Cross, Frank had no idea that seven decades later he would again call on the services of the organisation that provided a much-needed lifeline many years ago.

After the Christchurch Earthquakes, Red Cross came along again with two earthquake grants, meaning Frank and his wife Ann were able to get some respite by staying with their daughter in Whangarei for a month.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” says Frank, whose wife had mild dementia and at the time was almost immobile.

“At very critical points of my life, the Red Cross has cropped up.”

And now, after losing his wife earlier this year, Red Cross is there again. This time with meals on wheels, since at 91 years of age, Frank needs an extra little bit of help each day.

Recently, Frank wrote to Red Cross to say thank you. It was the least he thought he could do.

“God bless the Red Cross and everyone involved in furthering your work in meeting the demands of the world, long may it continue. Our appreciation is unbounded. Thank you.”