Chrissy was inspired to volunteer for Mary Potter Hospice in memory of her sister-in-law Marion.
“We lost Marion many years ago to cancer, and she was cared for at the Hospice. She left a toddler and a six-year-old daughter, and it was very hard. My nieces are now grown up, and I started volunteering because I wanted to pay it forward. I’ve lost a number of friends too in recent years, and I’m volunteering in memory of them as well.”
A real high point for Chrissy is collecting donations at the Mary Potter Hospice Strawberry Festival. ”I have collected at three festivals, and I just love it! I get dressed up in my angel wings and halo, and when the cruise ships used to come in, the tourists would often stop for a photo with the Strawberry Festival angel! It’s just absolutely rewarding.”
In her six years of Street Appeal collection for the Hospice, Chrissy has made some great connections. “I’ve made a good friend through collecting – we were both collecting for the Hospice at New World in Thorndon, and we got to know each other and got along really well. Now we back each other up and share shifts.
“The interactions with passers-by when you’re collecting are so great too. When I was collecting at New World, a college student came up to me and thanked me for doing this for her mum, who she had lost. Sometimes it makes you want to cry, but it’s so worthwhile.”
Chrissy would advise anyone thinking about becoming a Street Appeal collector for the Hospice to just go for it. “All you have to do as a collector is smile nicely and try to catch someone’s eye. Before COVID, I’d say you’d often get a hug too! It’s a great way to pay it forward and it’s so rewarding. I love the feeling that I’ve helped someone.”
In her professional life, Chrissy has been involved with Business Network International (BNI), a business networking group. It’s an international organisation with various chapters in New Zealand, and the chapters raise money for local hospices. The chosen charity for Wellington is Mary Potter Hospice. “I’ve been involved with fundraising events, quiz nights and so on through BNI,” says Chrissy. “It’s been great to have a part in these events and to present the cheques to the Hospice.”
Chrissy is also a huge fan of the Mary Potter Hospice shop. “I buy so many of my clothes from the shop in Thorndon – without it, I wouldn’t have the wardrobe I have. I get lots of compliments on my outfits from the Hospice shop, and buying preloved is better for the environment too!”