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Lending a Helping Hand to Families Impacted by March Attacks

"Boxes of Love" filled with much needed food items distributed to families

After a gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch on March 15, many New Zealanders donated money and food to families affected by the attacks. This outpouring of love was deeply appreciated by recipient families.


Downloadable video: b-roll and SOTs

As the weeks have gone by, bills have continued to pile up and bank accounts have diminished in many cases. Subsequently, some households have now run low on specific items such as rice, nuts, dates, lentils and spices.

Hafsa Ahmed, a scholar at Lincoln University in Christchurch, met with many families and recognized the need. That is when she partnered her own charity, the Lady Khadija Charitable Trust, with other organizations to create the “Boxes of Love” initiative.

Ahmed joined with her good friend Noeline Odgers, public affairs director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Christchurch, at Lincoln University in Christchurch on Friday May 24.

Other volunteers also came to help assemble 50 boxes of groceries. Another 50 boxes will be packed and delivered to families in the coming days.

Food and other supplies were also donated by the Lincoln University Student Association and St. Vincent de Paul charity. Other food was donated by people in the Christchurch community.

The university lecturer and community leader's 8-year-old son, Hussain, worked alongside the other workers, skilfully taping up boxes and loading the finished boxes into cars. His mother is reticent to expose her children to the horrors of that day, but she feels participating in this service will help to reinforce the good in the world for her son.

Posting on the Lady Khadija Charitable Trust New Zealand Facebook page, Ahmed sums up the combined effort in this way: "From interfaith dialogue to action—because humanity is what connects us all." 

Watch a related video that features President Russell M. Nelson meeting with Muslim leaders in Auckland on May 22.


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