Thank you to Aunt Jackie and the team at Auckland NZPC for allowing us to speak with you! – Jordan and Sharon
Aunt Jackie could talk a leg off a chair, but I guarantee you, you’ll be hanging on at every word. We call her Aunt Jackie as she’s the face of the Aunties, a charity collective supporting all kinds of people and organisations. Story after story came pouring from somewhere deep in Jackie as we spoke, and her wealth of knowledge varied across a range of topics. Jackie has a strong presence and speaks with determination. She’s got a no holds bar attitude, all or nothing, no bullshit.
“To become an Auntie, you just have to give one thing – anything.”
The Aunties started as an accident. Jackie was sick of children leaving their clothes at the kindergarten she worked for and decided to take them to a woman’s refuge for domestic violence. There was an opportunity at the refuge for Jackie to help the women of the refuge by sourcing items for them, like clothing or practical goods like a microwave. Jackie would visit the refuge regularly and talk to the women. Eventually stepping up her presence, taking the women shopping, writing personalised lists for each person specific to their needs. By the end of the relationship with this particular refuge all bedding, toiletries and needs were provided – Jackie described herself as good at getting stuff, a force of nature, popping onto social media and spreading the word, demanding the needs of these women.
Then she sold her house, quit teaching and started the Aunties charity full time. This is her life, which has grown organically over time. The Aunties is a collection of people of all genders, whom Jackie has interacted with over the past 6 years, who help source stuff, give time, support or donate funds. To become an Auntie, you just have to give one thing – anything.
The NZPC Auckland
Aunt Jackie first met the NZPC Auckland at the beginning of 2017, when a box of stripper shoes was donated to the Aunties charity. What on earth was she to do with them? A phone call later, chatting with everyone she could, Jackie brings the shoes and other donated clothing into the NZPC. “There’s levels of trust you need to build when working with any organisation”. After a good yak with all those who work at the collective, they made it official. Jackie comes to NZPC every Tuesday – a weekly date, time to chew the fat or to drop goods off. Whether its zip lock bags or travel toiletries that the NZPC needs Jackie will source it.
For the NZPC hotel toiletries are invaluable for the street workers of Auckland. Jackie describes how toiletries are always being nicked from the sex workers or thrown away if the council finds them. Sandwich bags are provided, which are then filled with mini toiletries, condoms, and wipes. Clothing and clothes hangers are also donated by the Aunties. When working with organisations Jackie lets them take the lead, where ever the wind blows her, whatever they need.
Jackie says while the Aunties are about giving to other people, she says the love she gets back from the woman she interacts with is the most rewarding.
If you travel a lot like me, staying in motels or hotels, and end up with bags full of miniature shampoos and soaps, send them to the NZPC Auckland and help get them out to those who would appreciate them!
For more on the NZPC got to www.nzpc.org.nz