Each of the five Red Cross teams were named after Santa’s reindeer and split the city five ways so they could get the gifts to all the kids.

The presents were donated by a variety of sources, but the bulk of them were raised by Red Cross volunteer, Emma. She made use of her huge network of friends and social media followers to gather the gifts for each child. What she didn’t raise was provided by anonymous donors and the East Coast Bays Red Cross branch.

“It has been great to see such a groundswell of support from the community and enthusiasm for this project,” says volunteer team leader, Heidi Cripps.

The Auckland Red Cross team ready to deliver the Christmas gifts

This toy delivery is a yearly endeavour undertaken by the New Zealand Red Cross team in Auckland.

Parents of the children don’t miss out either. This year they received gifts that had been donated by a small group of East Auckland community members. Some families also received boxes of food items donated by ‘The Christmas Box Project’ led by the Life Centre Trust.

“It’s always a great day out for the staff at the end of a long year,” says Ms Cripps. “We love the opportunity to pass on a wider community welcome to our newest families – it’s truly humbling, and heart-warming.”

If you’d like to become a refugee support volunteer, you can find more information here.