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Celebrating ‘good blokes’ this Christmas

Donations pour in for a few good men.

When Krissy Mackinstosh threw open the Good Blokes appeal on Facebook for contributions she said, “I thought everyone was just going to donate baking”.

Instead, small businesses (doing it tough this year too) jumped on board with vouchers, national companies donated gear and products, and the gift baskets started to overflow with seasonal cheer for men nominated as “a good bloke” by their loved ones.

There ended up being 36 baskets, valued at $350 each, to lift some male spirits this Christmas.

Over the course of last week, 72 Tairawhiti men were nominated as good blokes by their loved ones who follow the Hear4U Facebook page.

Drawn under police supervision by Tolaga Bay policeman Richard Reeves on Monday night were 26 blokes names who will get a gift box, and a letter from Hear4U to talk about why they got it.

The other 10 boxes have been gifted by the Tauawhi Men’s Centre and the Gisborne Stroke Foundation.

Krissy, along with Renee Grant and Jo Higgins-Ware, created the movement Hear4U to get men talking about male suicide as a way to prevent it.

It’s debut was last November, and their Movember auction for men’s mental health topped the country for the most donations received. Now just over a year later there’s a book coming, and the pace has not stopped for these three women. Krissy says it is the feedback from people, and businesses continuing to come on board, which keeps them motivated to do more.

“A massive thank you.”

Krissy started the Good Blokes appeal because she knew people wanted to help, and knew people needed a bit of help this Christmas.

“Working with all the guys and families this year, 2020 was just a hard year. This is a little reminder that people care, communities care, and still want to help one another they just don’t know how. So I am just the little connector for people to bring joy.

“It’s a chance for families and wives and loved ones to celebrate their men.”

Donations poured in from the community to fill 36 gift baskets that will be given out to Tairawhiti men this week. Those who follow the Hear4U Facebook page were able to nominate a good bloke in their lives to be eligible for some of the Christmas cheer. There for the draw on Monday night were some other good blokes — Griffin Law, Dan Parsons and Steven Husband — who have lent their support to the Hear4U movement, which advocates for men’s mental health awareness and suicide prevention throughout New Zealand. Picture by Paul Rickard