Listen to the full Polly & Grant's Break & Enter Christmas podcast:
Polly & Grant's Break and Enter Christmas is our favourite morning of the year.
Every year, with their band of elves, they break into someone's home and give them a Christmas they will never forget.
We asked you to nominate a family in your community that won't be having Christmas due to their circumstances or need some special Christmas cheer this year. We had a HUGE number of nominations and after reading all of the incredible letters Polly & our elves came across Mahalia, Ace, Rhodelia and Rain.
We have had a number of people ask where they can contribute to help our family. If you'd like to donate money, please transfer into the Westpac account 03 0713 0168284 18 with the reference 'PGXmas'
If you'd like to donate goods to help us make this Christmas super special please email our promotions team HERE
Dear Polly and Grant
My name is Kerrin and I have been the Office Manager for 10 years now, at Cannons Creek School in Porirua East. I would like to nominate one of the families from our school for Break & Enter Christmas - Mahalia (a wonderful Nan) and her 3 moko – Ace (aged 12), Rhodelia (10) and Rain (7).
Due to circumstances out of their control Ace has been living with his Nan for some time and the two girls for a few months now.
Mahalia is an amazing Nan who works long hours on minimum wage in Porirua as well as caring for the three children.
Mahalia and the children live in Johnsonville. She brings them out to school every day on her way to work in Porirua.
Rhodelia and Rain go to an after school programme paid for by a wonderful charitable organisation and Mahalia picks them up after finishing work each day.
Ace attends Intermediate and is doing fantastically there. He hasn’t had it easy but since living with Mahalia he is happier and holds his head up high - a remarkably different boy. I have spoken to his Principal a couple of times and she is really impressed with Ace and also very supportive of Mahalia.
Ace has been encouraged to play basketball and is ‘living and breathing’ this.
Mahalia’s home is simple with the absolute bare basics - the girls sleep in Mahalia’s bed while she sleeps on the couch downstairs but the children are now fed, clean and have somewhere to go. They no longer dread empty cupboards with no food for some days and weeks. Their hair is free of lice and they have clean washed clothes.
As a school community we help families in need get sponsorship and grants from various charities like Kidscan which Mahalia finds a huge help.
Earlier this year some of our teachers took the girls out to spend some of their sponsorship money, where they bought sheets and duvets as well as warm pyjamas they never had these before, it was just a mattress on the floor. The teachers showed them how to make a bed and Rain was amazed how warm she was as she only knew to sleep with a mink blanket over her!
To help with the children's confidence Mahalia has involved all three grandchildren in Kapahaka which has been a wonderful experience for all of them.
She does her best to keep the children entertained - I know that she likes to take the children for outings to places like Te Papa as it is free.
Rhodelia and Rain have never had toys or anything special for themselves. Rhodelia is a bit of a tomboy whereas Rain loves really girly things like Princesses and dressing up - and as for Nana, she never gets a chance to even think about herself.
Mahalia is an amazing Nan however we know that she struggles to keep up with living costs and it is unlikely that she will be able to afford to buy the children presents or provide them with special food during Christmas time.
She is on a low wage but despite the challenges knows the best place for the children is with her.
Recently there has been much heartbreak not only for her but for all three children and they really could do with having something special happening at Christmas time and during the school holidays.
Mahalia is amazingly humble and would not wish to have any fuss but I honestly believe that she has made such a difference in Ace, Rhodelia and Rain's lives. Any support that she can be given will affect all three children directly.
I am so so impressed with what she has taken on in the past few months. As a grandparent myself with grown children I am totally in awe of her willingness to provide a safe and secure place for her grandchildren to be in, without even considering how she would manage financially and emotionally.
All three children deserve to be spoilt but so does Mahalia as she has been so selfless in her decisions.
Survival has been paramount for this family, they have no expectations over and above this, therefore to be able to acknowledge the hardship they have all experienced during this year would be absolutely indescribable.
Please help this family this Christmas.