Linda Roil – I knew the name long before I met her. Often I would see a post on the Cambridge Grapevine Facebook page, asking for donations of a particular item for a foster child – perhaps some shoes to fit a 10 year old boy, or a bassinette for a newborn baby.
The responses would make my heart swell, and certainly restored any wavering faith I had in humanity.
Back in 2014 Linda and her husband fostered their first child. Horrified at the sight of the child’s belongings stuffed into a black bin liner, she decided to take matters into her own hands and began putting together care packs for foster children. Backpacks are filled with clothing, toiletries and a few other items to call their own and it is Linda’s wish to upsize the backpacks to a more hard-wearing suitcase.
All the donations that come in have created a need for a large storage area, hence the building of a massive shed on the Roil’s property, which they hope to have completed by the end of October this year.
A relatively new charity, Kids In Need Waikato has only been in operation since 2017. Servicing mainly Cambridge at the start, like everything else, has gained momentum and is now spreading out to the wider community, seeing Te Awamutu and Hamilton reaching out to help and be helped.
Linda has raised the profile of kids in care and their basic needs. I feel honoured to have spent time with her.
For a donation of $20 you can spend an afternoon with Linda, at Onyx Restaurant on Sunday 7th October. Tea, coffee and nibbles will be provided along with a chance to meet Linda, hear her story, and ask questions. All proceeds will be donated to Kids in Need Waikato.