Sunday, 28 February 2021


Locals getting behind the “Love Grace” handbag appeal

A few Whitianga locals have already thrown their support in behind BNZ’s “Love Grace handbag appeal.”

The Love Grace charitable appeal was set up by the family of Grace Milane, a young lady who was sadly murdered in Auckland in 2018. Her murderer received a sentence of life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 17 years. The appeal combines Grace’s love for handbags with a campaign to end violence against women.

BNZ is running their handbag appeal in conjunction with Women’s Refuge. They are asking members of the public to fill a handbag with items ranging from basic to luxury and drop the handbag off at any BNZ branch around New Zealand. After conclusion of the appeal on 8 March, the handbags will be distributed to women in need.

Karen Corbett and Andrea Foster of the Whitianga i-SITE decided to support the appeal after fellow Whitianga resident, Ann Ward, co-owner of the Whai fishing charter vessel, came into the i-SITE to shop for items to go into a handbag she was putting together with her niece, Kate. “It sounded like such a worthy cause, we just had to get behind it,” says Karen.

Ann used to work in the Police as a family violence coordinator years ago and says violence against women is completely unacceptable. “Women who have suffered abuse are in an extremely difficult situation,” she says. “And don’t make a mistake, it happens across all walks of life. Kate and I thought filling a handbag with a few items is the least we can do to show our support.

“I would like to put a challenge to all the Whitianga businesses out there, there’s still time, fill a handbag and show some women in desperate circumstances out there that you care.”

Pictured: Andrea (second from the left) and Karen (on Andrea’s left) with their handbag, and Ann (third from the right) and Kate (on Ann’s left) with their handbag. With them on the photo are BNZ Whitianga staff members, Alamein Brown and Tracy Edkins.


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