Giving back to community
by Mike Isle
Jeraldine (Jerry) Teng loves her job, and for a very good reason; it gives Bellyful Selwyn’s new branch coordinator the chance to give something back to the community that welcomed her so warmly earlier this year.
It’s not just the job she is in love with — it is the Selwyn community itself.
Born in Singapore and has travelled the world and moved to Rolleston from the North Island in June this year, Jerry says she and her husband settled in Selwyn because she was impressed by the family-friendly nature of the community.
“When we saw that kids were able to walk their dogs and play in the parks on their own we thought this was a very safe and cohesive community. People seemed to look after each other, and that was something we were looking for.”
Jerry was also looking for some way to give something back to the district. Since her teenage years, she has always had a strong interest in community service. In Selwyn, it was Bellyful that gave her the opportunity she was seeking.
“I saw an ad on Facebook for Bellyful Selwyn. I read up about what it does and was really impressed by their core values, and I thought that joining it would give me a way to contribute to the community in a meaningful way.”
Bellyful, which is a volunteer organisation with 20 branches throughout New Zealand, cooks and delivers meals to families with young children who are struggling with illness or where there is little or no family or social support.
Started by Jacquie Ritchie in 2009, the organisation last year cooked and delivered 19,407 meals to 3,442 families in 18 communities. The meals are free. Fundraising is through donations of, food money food. There is no government funding.
In Selwyn, Bellyful has 30 volunteers and services Hornby, Hei Hei Wigram, Halswell and Tai Tapu.
In August alone, it cooked and delivered 170 meals to local families.
Jerry Teng can be contacted on Jeraldine.firstname.lastname@example.org and for further information visit the Bellyful website bellyful.org.nz.