OUSA Gives out 650 “Gifts of Generosity and Grace”

OUSA Gives out 650 “Gifts of Generosity and Grace”

And if you all check under your seats, you’ll find… baked beans! Woohoo!

In less than a week, OUSA has distributed 650 care packages to isolating students across the city. The initiative comes as Omicron rips through the student population in North Dunedin. 

These packages are being delivered free of charge to students who are isolating. They contain food staples like baked beans, rice and pasta, as well as health items like tissues and throat lozenges. Sage Burke, Student Support Manager for OUSA, said that the packages also contain “a couple of treats, and some things to keep you connected and entertained”, and that the exact contents may vary based on what’s available. Nothing beats iso boredom more than a wee surprise, after all. 

According to a press release, the Uni is funding these packages, providing $50,000 from their Pūtea Tautoko Student Relief Fund, with another $50k ready to go whenever needed. They’ve also been “soliciting donations and at-cost supply of items from local businesses”. OUSA, meanwhile, has been putting in the mahi to assemble and distribute the packages. Alongside staff who have been working outside their normal hours, community volunteers have also been pitching in, including members of local churches. 

At the time of writing, 650 such baggies had been delivered in just five days, beginning on Saturday 19th February. “So far we've had fantastic support from New World Centre City and Veggie Boys to start getting these out the door,” said Sage. The student response has been “great from all”. He’s seen students tag OUSA “on their socials” to say thanks, and even some parents getting amongst. 

Speaking of parents, Critic Te Arohi had at least one parent email us with a “plea for humanitarian aid” from OUSA, saying that his 22-year old son is “in confinement… in [his] fortnight of need” and would be “grateful for a bag of groceries dropped off at his doorstep every few days.” A gift of food or “some other gift of generosity and grace” was urgently requested.

Well, good news, Dad, your son can get exactly that by reaching out to OUSA’s Student Support Hub. We appreciated your plea for us to “find it in [our] heart a desire to help” your son, but, like hundreds of students have already discovered, help is just a click away.

Students needing care packages can request one through Student Support here.

This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2022.
Posted 2:51pm Sunday 27th February 2022 by Fox Meyer.