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Inside: 2 Inviting Organisations 3 You can Make a Difference 4 Santa Clauses Coming to OG

Theme: Christmas for One and All Sunday, December 23, 2012 2pm*Blockhouse Bay Community Centre

OG Issue 2/page 1

Inviting Organisations It used to be just one group TawagAwit that put together OG: Open Gathering during the yuletide season. Through the years, the event of “giving, sharing and caring” has become a collective effort of organisations wanting to make a difference in the lives of people especially new migrants in the period they are most vulnerable to stress and loneliness. This year is no different. Katilingbang Bisaya sa New Zealand (KBNZ) has taken a lead role in organising this year’s event with Department of Internal Affairs through its Community Organisations Grants Scheme (COGS) and TawagAwit giving support.

(Top: ACFC. Bottom: KBNZ in OG2010)

Invitations have been sent out to other organisations including Migrant Action Trust (MAT), the Leyte Samar Waraynon New Zealand, Ilonggo Integrated Association (NZ) Inc. Noel Borgueta of LSWNZ and Ka Uro of endorsed the invitation to its members, while MAT and the Ilonggo group have disseminated the information to its clients and/or members. According to Debbie Libre, OG project coordinator, she has received calls from new migrants who have confirmed their participation. She said, “We need the new migrants and refugees to register in advance so we can prepare enough food and gifts for them. All they need to do is either call 813-1616 or email” OG Issue 2/page 2

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLE’S LIVES To celebrate the Christmas season, you can make a difference in people’s lives, if you really want to. OG: Open Gathering allows you to open the door of your heart to new migrants, brethren who come to a new place with a few acquaintances, without family, and maybe without a job for the moment. Here are a few guidelines: Identify a new migrant. The person setting next to you may have arrived of late in New Zealand. Get to know a bit of the individual, and tell him about what he/she will be doing during Christmas. Invite the migrant. If you can’t invite him/her to your home, there is a venue where you can make him/her at home as well in OG: Open Gathering. This year, it is on Sunday, December 23, 2012 starting at 2pm. Of course, you need to get his/her contact number. Fetch the invitee. The migrant may want to go, but he/she doesn’t have a vehicle nor is he/she familiar with the roads. Tell him/her that you will fetch him/her on that day. Wrap a gift. The essence of Christmas is giving. Look for an item that is useful to new migrants, like canned goods, utensils, shirts, etc, and wrap it. Your gift will be distributed among invitees to OG. If you can, wrap as well a toy for the kids. Cook a dish. Wouldn’t it be great if you cooked your favourite dish or dessert and share these with your brethren during OG? In addition to filling the hearts of invitees, you will fill their stomachs as well. Tell your friends about OG. You can tell your friends about the Open Gathering; and ask them to do the tasks listed above as well. They’ll be thankful that you did.

OG Issue 2/page 3

Santa Clauses Coming to OG There is not a shortage of Santa Clauses in our midst. As the call for individuals to donate wrapped gifts for new migrants and refugees was sent out, OG has started receiving donations. The first two Santa Clauses are: Villaver and Ramirez families. During past OGs, the organisers were overwhelmed by the response of people who took time to wrap special gifts and bring these to the venue. Due to the quantity of the donations, there have instances that guests receive more than one gift. While food and drinks have been prepared by the OG organisers, food donations are welcomed just to ensure that there will be no shortage for guests, volunteers and supporters. Rosendo “Sendo” Menchavez (left photo), past president of KBNZ, volunteered once more to coordinate in the collection of donations this year. “I have been doing this for the past years, and I thoroughly enjoy this tradition of helping out newcomers to New Zealand, most especially during Christmas.” Donors can either deliver their gifts at 1:30pm on 23 December in Blockhouse Bay Community Centre, Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland or email: OG Issue 2/page 4

YOU CAN BE AS TALL AS SANTA Invite a new migrant, bring food stuff and gifts – as we sing Christmas carols and play games


Open Gathering

Christmas for One and All Sunday, December 23, 2012 2pm*Blockhouse Bay Community Centre*Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay OG Issue 2/page 5

OG 2012 News 2  

Official Newsletter of Open Gathering 2012