14 December 2016

A Little Day Of Giving

With gifts generously given, it was now time to deliver our haul of almost 500 presents to the children and families who need them most, at Ronald McDonald House


This year’s Little Ray of Giving has exceeded all expectations, thanks to the charity of two local kindergartens, a couple of loyal tradies, and the staff and families of Ray White Ponsonby.

It was a busy, early morning start for the staff at Ray White’s Ponsonby Road office, as they wrapped up the last of the nearly five hundred presents that had been donated over the past few weeks. Receptionist, Renae Te Maro, who had been the main go-to person for this year’s initiative, said they’d been overwhelmed with gifts over the past few days. “It’s just amazing how many presents we’ve got here,” she says. “It’s by far our best year, by a long way.”

Last minute packing

Last minute packing

With the car loaded up, the next stop was just down the road at Freemans Bay Kindergarten, where Karly Te Maro, Renae’s niece, who is one of the teachers at the centre, greeted us. The children were so excited to see us and show us all the presents that had been collected. I think some of them thought they were theirs! But I’m sure they’ll all have plenty come Christmas morning.

Freemans Bay Kindergarten

Freemans Bay Kindergarten

Next on the list was First Steps Grey Lynn Childcare, where centre manager, Chelsea Compton, gave us a huge basket of gifts for Ronald McDonald House. Ray White’s Simon Damerell was on hand to present the centre with a certificate of thanks, as he had done at the previous kindergarten. Simon’s wagon was now chocka with presents. Next stop, Auckland Hospital… and our final destination, Ronald McDonald House.

Chelsea from first steps kindergarten accepting a certificate of appreciation from Simon Damerell

Chelsea from first steps kindergarten accepting a certificate of appreciation from Simon Damerell

Ronald McDonald House provides a home-away-from-home and a safe haven for the families of the sick children who are up on the wards in Auckland Hospital. Though the average length of stay is seven days, many families will need to stay for weeks, or even months on end, according to Lena Pfitzner, the Corporate Partnership Officer at the charity.

“Auckland hospital is the main centre in New Zealand for cardiac and transplant treatments, so many of our long-stay children have had complex procedures. And once they’ve had their surgery, they will have to stay in isolation for up to 100 days, or even longer, to prevent infection. The longest a family has been with us is four years,” she adds

On a cheerier note, she says there’s a huge Christmas party planned for December 20th at the house. “Santa will be coming, we have face painting, and there’ll be a fairy flying around – and of course the children will get all those gifts you’ve just delivered to us. And then, on Christmas Day, the families who are with us over that period will be given more gifts.”

"We try to make it a great time for the whole family, where everyone gets a gift.”

“But the focus is not just on the sick child,” she says. “There will also be presents for their brothers and sisters. 

Lena says the children who are well enough will be able to come down off the ward to enjoy the Christmas festivities and open their presents with their families. Unfortunately, for the transplant patients the risk of infection is too great, so they’ll have to stay on the wards – however, they will be getting a very special delivery on the 25th!

Lena Pfitzner, Corporate Partnership Officer at Ronald McDonald House and Simon Damerell

Lena Pfitzner, Corporate Partnership Officer at Ronald McDonald House and Simon Damerell

It was certainly very sobering listening to Lena talk about the sick children and the sacrifices their families have to make. However, it was immensely rewarding knowing we had delivered nearly 500 presents that will help make their Christmas just a little bit more enjoyable.

This is the third year Ray White Ponsonby has actively supported this cause, and they will certainly be involved next year, according to Simon Damerell.

“Little Ray of Giving sits very comfortable with our values of being a responsible community corporate,” says Simon

“It can’t be about the bottom line all the time. There’s no point in just making money – you need to give back to the community, and not just a one-off, once a year. At Ray White Ponsonby, we have a number of events and causes that we actively get behind. The Little Ray of Giving is just one of many. “Let’s aim for a thousand gifts next year,” he smiles.

A Massive Thank You To...

Karly Te Maro at Freemans Bay Kindergarten, Chelsea Compton at First Steps Grey Lynn Childcare, Edward Stratton at Auckland Design & Build, Mark Ockleston at Sharper Cuts, all the people from our community that dropped presents into our office throughout the week and to all the staff and their families at Ray White Damerell Group Ponsonby and Grey Lynn.


Return to blog

More recent posts

7 February 2018

Dynamic Duo

Two top performers join the burgeoning team at Ray White Mt Albert, bringing with them a wealth of experience and a refreshing and positive attitude to real estate sales.

2 November 2017

Vintage Fix

Long gone the tarnish of second hand in a one stop shop department store that celebrates timeless quality and the notion of recycling.

19 October 2017

A Natural Progression

With the full support of Ray White Damerell Group, its neighbour Ray White Mt Albert is in now in a great position to take advantage of the expected growth in this burgeoning suburb.

24 July 2017

June Market Wrap

Although there’s been a decline in the number of properties for sale this month, this has led to stiffer competition for buyers and a slight increase in the median price.

20 July 2017

Change Maker

Hell-bent on realising the full potential of Auckland’s Unitary Plan, energetic Generation Zero hustler Leroy Beckett discusses the group’s latest agenda.

6 July 2017

Modern Twist

With more than thirty houses to his name, Cameron Ireland can reasonably call himself a specialist in the art of converting small, draughty villas into edgy family homes.

30 June 2017

Compliance & Contracts

From listing through to settlement, Tom Horrocks makes sure that we do our absolute best to protect the legal interests of both buyers and sellers.

29 June 2017

Over the bridge and far away…

After a long week in the office, head to Birkenhead and start the weekend with one of many energising walks.

22 June 2017

Thoroughly Eco

An innovative and inspiring energy-efficient home shows the many ways we can go green in the city for all sorts of benefits.


Contact Us

Are you interested in knowing more about one of these articles? Please fill out the form below to get in contact with us.