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Students' project helps homeless
Bay of Plenty Times, Tauranga Bay of Plenty  by Pauline Carney
19 Jul 2017
General News - page 6 - 420 words - ID 812637067 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 342.00cm2

Homeless men using the Tauranga night shelter will benefit from the generosity of Year 9 Otumoetai College students.

Fifty black and white striped jute bags filled with items including a pair of socks, a pair of slippers, a toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, cake of soap, cans of easy-to-open food, muesli, a drink bottle and a rubbish bag were handed over recently to the manager of Tauranga men's night shelter, Annamarie Angus.

The items were gathered by asking businesses to donate items and Macpac were the first to respond, giving 50 drink bottles.

Besides the bags of goodies, the students had cashed in 40 vouchers from Sanitarium for boxes of Weet-Bix for future breakfasts at the shelter.

They also donated blankets, towels and sleeping bags for Ms Angus to distribute.

Ms Angus said about 20 men used the shelter each night. She was grateful for the care packs, which she would give out.

Any extra would be taken to the weekly Elim church outreach for street people and given to needy men there.

The students, mainly girls under the supervision of their form teacher, Bernice Quartermain, also prepared a few bags for homeless women. These bags would also be distributed by Ms Angus through associated agencies.

Another Stars group at the college presented a cheque for $210.10 to a Homes of Hope representative. They raised the money through a raffle.

Otumoetai College was the first school in the Bay to take on the Stars Programme from the Graeme Dingle Foundation.

This programme has Year 13 students being peer mentors to the Year 9 students.

Term One focused on building relationships between Year 9 students and Year 13 peer mentors at an Adventure Camp in Oteora.

During the second term the groups took on a Community Service Project.

The programme goal of Stars was to enhance school culture through positive youth development.

The community service project helped students to think about how they could contribute to the community and the well-being of others.

Research had shown that contributing through a volunteer project could increase social connectedness, improve self-concept and develop positive attitudes.

Projects Otumoetai Year 9 students completed this past term included afternoon tea delivered to nurses at the Tauranga Hospital, and to officers at Tauranga police station; the upgrade of an orienteering track at Oteora Camp; a rubbish clean-up of the Matua Salt Marsh; gardening in the Otumoetai College Gully to preserve native plants; and SPCA Cupcake Day fundraiser.

Caption Text:
GIFTS: Otumoetai College students have made care packages for the needy.

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