Aaron | Glen Innes, Auckland
“I needed food. It was a desperate time in my life. I had never been out and asked the community for food, but there’s a place here based next to Ruapōtaka Marae, the Salvation Army, who kindly gave me food.
It was enough to take me through a couple of weeks, and that was kindness. I felt loved. I felt like I wasn’t the only one. I experienced that not only family but the community around us shows a lot of support and love to those who they don’t really know, such as myself.
I grew up in Māngere for 10 years. I moved onto Ōtahuhu for 29 years, and then from Ōtahuhu to Manurewa. What’s important to me in life is whānau and being mindful, and kindness. I think it’s very important that you spread kindness, whether it be giving or listening. It’s important so that other people who need to vent, feel like they’re loved and can actually experience that by just talking to anyone, and you’ve all experienced that, such as I did. I was in a shutdown moment where I’ve lost a lot of my parents, never really believed in people caring for me, because they didn’t know me. But that was so far from it, I wasn’t thinking that there are a lot of people that do care, and especially in this community and every other community I’ve grown up in.”