Focus on the Land
Gisborne generosity ‘amazing’
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
A GISBORNE woman organising a charity drive for stationery and sports supplies to be donated to the small school in Samoa she will volunteer at next term is overwhelmed by the “amazing” response from her home town.
Harriet Sherratt this week sent about 20 boxes of picture books, stationery, ready-to-read books, toys, sports equipment and other goods donated by Gisborne people and businesses to All Saints Parish in Apia, where she is also volunteering her teaching skills for a term.
“It’s amazing how supportive everyone has been,” she said.
The trip will be Miss Sherratt’s first time back in Samoa since she and friend Rebecca Hamilton were caught up in the chaos of the 2009 tsunami only days after arriving on the island for what was supposed to be a “dream island getaway”.
The two told The Herald at the time they were staying at a resort on Lita Sini Beach on the south east of Upolu Island, which bore the brunt of the post-quake tsunami.
Miss Sherratt had always wanted to volunteer overseas and found out about this opportunity through a friend she met while in Samoa during the tsunami aftermath.
“I like the idea of teaching in another country and helping people who are in need.”
The couple who founded the All Saints Parish school also lost eight family members in the tsunami.
All Saints Parish is a small school which the community wants to move to full primary school status in the next two years.
The school was also under-resourced and in desperate need of stationery items such as paper, she said.
Miss Sherratt saw an opportunity to contribute and appealed to her home community for donations to buy refill, scrapbooks, A4 paper and other learning resources to ship to the island nation.
The response was overwhelming, she said.
She is extremely grateful to all the business groups and individuals who had contributed to making the trip and donations possible.
BOOKS FOR SAMOA: Gisborne woman Harriet Sherratt with some of the books, stationery and sports equipment donated by Gisborne people and organisations for the school in Samoa she will be volunteering at next term. Pictures supplied
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