GrabOne’s Secret Santa: all wrapped up and delivered


We always tell each other it’s better to give than to receive, then Christmas Day arrives with all its excitement and sky-high piles of presents, and you get lumped with a random secret Santa gift that you’re pretty sure was meant for Uncle Arthur and a purple plaid tablecloth that’s suitable for, well, never.

This year GrabOne set out to prove that Christmas really is about the giving. GrabOne’s Secret Santa invited you to nominate needy and deserving families from all around the country. We then had the very difficult job of choosing just 13 of them, then packing up boxes of goodies to be delivered to their doors just in time for Christmas.

The response to GrabOne’s Secret Santa was quite simply overwhelming. We received more than 800 nominations, each an amazing story of good will, community contribution, sacrifice or heartache. Thank you to everyone who thought outside themselves and nominated a family who needed a helping hand this Christmas. It’s heart-warming to realise that Kiwis really do care about the people around them, even if they’re doing it tough too.

The presents came from far and wide. We invited some of GrabOne’s best merchants to contribute to the cause, plus we put a call out to GrabOne staff to add the final touches (mostly in the form of chocolate). Then our team wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped and wrapped the presents until we were red in the face with Christmas cheer.

It was incredibly difficult to narrow 800-odd entries down to just 13, though. Quite honestly, each and every family deserved to win, and many stories were simply heart-breaking to read. But we did it.

Here are some snippets from a few of the winning stories:

The father spends his time when he is not working on the early morning shift (2am- 1pm) doing voluntary work for young men aged 13-18 with free activities that are focussed around life skills and self-esteem. He also goes and visits people in the community, especially sick and elderly. If they need help with their lawns he will go and mow them for free, sometimes taking some of the young men he works with, encouraging them to help others. This family survives on a little but gives a lot to those that they come in contact with.

They never put themselves first, they are the first ones to volunteer and donate and offer help to those in need, and I feel it’s about time they had some good karma and let the world know that all their help is appreciated. Their family motto is “to help change the world with one random gesture of kindness”. I pray that something good will happen for them and they receive that random act of kindness that they show our world daily.

This family has always had an open door policy. They don’t have money but whatever they do have they always help out anybody that needs it. An example is four of our family were all laid off work from our local meat works and although she was on minimum wage she supported two households over a period of six weeks, feeding us and helping us budget until we got some help from WINZ. She was amazing.

After being made bankrupt a few years ago they have continued to struggle. She has just had a little boy so money is very very tight as she has had to stop work. They have one other son who is two years old. The only income is her husband who works all hours. This would give them a very special Christmas one to remember.

My parents are the type of people that have gone without all their lives to give to others freely and unreservedly. The most special thing about them I think is they have an “open door” policy. Effectively this means anyone who needs a hand is welcome to come and find their “safe place” until they can find themselves. Despite the personal and financial issues they have faced, my parents and family continue with their “open door” policy and give everything they have to anyone who is down on their luck. Sadly, they are now down on theirs and Christmas has officially been cancelled in the household. The money is better spent feeding and taking care of the extras that turn up. Christmas is about family, and that’s what they have and continue to grow on almost a monthly basis. It’s what they value and I have never heard them complain about the material things they don’t have.