Volunteer advocate Dellwyn Moylan works with volunteers and does her own volunteer work.
She is manager at Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury’s Mid Canterbury office but also spent the past few months of her free time making festive cards and decorations for Canterbury-based New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) employees working in MIF in Christchurch.
All NZDF employees working nationwide in a MIF on Christmas day received a care package distributed by Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. But service personnel working in Christchurch also got a handmade Christmas card, a felt military bear magnet and Christmas decorations made by Ms Moylan, plus decorations made by children from Burnham Preschool and School.
“I know it’s tough for our soldiers being in MIFs, especially at special times like Christmas. These little extras will remind them that the work they do is valued, and they are not forgotten. It’s just a small way in which people can show that they care,” Ms Moylan said.
Ms Moylan, who is also a Civil Defence volunteer, had seen first-hand the positive impact army personnel had in the Ashburton community last year when soldiers from 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (3CSSB) helped with the evacuation and clean-up resulting from the late-May floods.
She has also helped support those working in MIF before. She made up seventy two bags of truffles, lolly cake and Anzac biscuits for personnel last year working in Christchurch MIFs on Anzac Day.
The motivation Ms Moylan had for supporting defence personnel was a personal one.
Earlier last year, she read for the first time, some of the letters her dad sent to her grandmother during his time in the New Zealand Army in World War 2 and learnt how it was the little gifts that were so important.
She also knew her mum spent years knitting scarves, hats and gloves to send to troops overseas.
Ms Moylan was inspired to do something for the soldiers working on Op Protect and delivered her care package to Private Caitlin Candy, from 3rd Catering and Supply Company, 3rd Combat Service Support Battalion (3CSSB) at Burnham.
Private Candy was one of the 195 service personnel nationwide who worked over the Christmas and New Year period; it was her fourth rotation in a MIF.
“While I don’t mind working in a MIF over Christmas, it’s really nice that people in the community, like Dellwyn, are thinking about us,” she said.