A lovely group of ladies gathered Thursday morning to prepare our yearly appreciation baskets of goodies for Fire, Police, Ambulance, Overdale Community Centre, the Library, and the neighbouring accountants office. Multiple bunches of flowers were carefully wrapped in cellophane to deliver to the business community up and down Tirau Street. Attached gift cards expressed genuine gratitude for the service they provide. This is a way we can give back to the businesses for all they do for the locals. Every year we get varied responses from businesses and those passing by. This year was no different. The surprise, gratitude and appreciation were evident from everyone who received our bundles of joy.
Half an hour before we arrived at the Super liquor they had unfortunately been robbed. Not knowing our cheery ladies marched in and presented the emotional staff person with flowers and chocolates. She was overwhelmed by the generosity and heartfelt gifts that she gave the girls a tender embrace. After her stressful morning this was a welcome surprise to calm her nerves and put a smile on her face.
The lady from Countrywide Real Estate was thrilled to bits to receive flowers and chocolates on her birthday. The Transform ladies made her day extra special, and she was more than grateful.
The Barber was very touched and astonished that the flowers were for him. Men traditionally do not receive flowers, but the gesture was appreciated.
The Z service station staff were overjoyed that they all got chocolate and flowers. The smiles on their faces were priceless. Even those on the forecourt did not escape the generosity. Two separate customers offered to give a donation, which we declined. Seeing their happy faces as they received something for nothing was all the payment we needed.
One of the second-hand shop staff commented that what we did was honestly beautiful, and she was evidently moved by the sweet gesture.
The Wooden Farmer staff were dumbfounded that anyone would randomly walk off the street to show their appreciation in such a fashion. The diners did not escape the random act of kindness either, as chocolate was presented to them also.
The Librarians were stunned to receive such a well-stocked basket of goodies. We asked for a photo and one librarian said, ‘I’m only casual, but I picked the best day to come to work.’ Three ladies joined the Transform team for a photo at the counter.
Fearing we would miss the ambulance we had to wave it down as it was just pulling out of the station. Thankfully, it was not leaving for an emergency. We told them we had a gift basket of appreciation to give to them. The driver promptly pulled over and the boss jumped out to take it off our hands and was very gracious to pose for a photo in front of the ambulance before continuing on their way.
Local Police had a very busy morning, and no local officers were available to take the basket of treats from the ladies. A Tokoroa police officer and the only one at the station was more than happy to receive the basket on their behalf. I heard back later that our basket was very much appreciated, and the officers had plenty of enjoyment nibbling their way through the delectable treats for the rest of the day.
Debriefing afterwards was precious as each lady recounted how the experience of being generous to the community had such a positive impact on them also. For some this kind of activity was way out of their comfort zone. Outside of Transform they would never have had the courage to do this but being a part of a group was a beautiful experience and they loved every minute of it. They are determined that they will join in every year from now on. Seeing the genuine reactions and smiles from the community was life giving.
Random acts of kindness like this are something we look forward to every year. Our first responders and the businesses give so much to this rural community and gifts like these are just a small token of our appreciation for all they do. Without them we would not have the amazing community we do. Putaruru is a beautiful place and showing our support is just one way we can do our bit to make sure it stays that way.