Sam Borall knows what it’s like to do it tough – that’s why she dedicates her time to helping others in need.
The mum of four has recently won the Victory volunteer of the year award for the work she does at the Victory Community Centre.
You’ll find her in the centre’s bustling kitchen five days a week with her son Jamal, putting together food packages for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
The food is collected every day from Kai Rescue at the Nelson Environment Centre. Milk, bread, strawberries and asparagus were just some of the items donated last week.
Sam sorts it all out, makes up the packages and puts extras out in the outdoor Kai Shed for other families to help themselves to.
There are 200 families and individuals on the list to receive the packages, which are intended to only be a ‘top up’ to see people through until their next pay day.
Those on the list are allowed one package per week, with Sam aiming to make 6-10 per day, depending on what’s available.
“The food is spread a bit more thinly these days, so first and foremost it’s a little bit of help for the Victory families,” she says.
Sam has been volunteering at the centre for three years now.
Her partner and three sons also pitch in here and there with heavy lifting and outdoor work.
She started off being roped in to help fold the Victory on the Move programme leaflets, then moved onto co-facilitating the Kai Shed operation.
“I like talking to everyone and hearing their backgrounds. I just like helping the community. It’s nice to feel appreciated,” she says.
Nicola Baré from the centre says Sam and her family are an important part of the community.
“She comes in smiling every day. We appreciate the work Sam and her men all do for us.”