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Late in the afternoon of July 14, in the West Auckland suburb of Ranui a family house began burning to the ground.

By nightfall the house was entirely gone and the family of five was left with the clothes they were standing in, and that’s about all.

“It’s a small suburb, perhaps twelve to fifteen thousand homes,” says Ray White Swanson principal Melvin Plaisier.

“And this was a local family. They were renting, the owner was insured so the house was going to be replaced, but the family had nothing; one set of clothes, that was it.”

They’re a close team of seven at Ray White Swanson, and being part of the community they were keen to see how they might help.

“We were watching the community Facebook pages, and everyone was saying ‘what can we do?” People wanted to donate clothes and goods – but there was no centre for it. So we thought we could help.”

It wasn’t easy but they managed to contact the family, who they discovered were sleeping on the floor at a friend’s home.

“We got them in, (to the office) and matched them up with one of our rental properties – but the rent was a bit out of their budget. However, the owner dropped the rent for them, by $50 a week, so they had a furnished house ready to move into.”

But of course, this family needed so much more.

The Ray White Swanson team arriving at the family’s new home with donated goods

The Ray White team again came to the rescue, operating as a drop off point for all the community donations. Clothes, hot water jugs, toys – the donations came in steadily for ten days.“The family were blown away. We had so much donated stuff, that it took three car loads to take it all over to the family’s new home.”

Mr Plaisier is not surprised by the generosity of his community.

“These are great people. They get up in the morning and get on the tools and do a hard day’s work,” he said.

But more than that, the area has proven they also have big hearts.

Mr Plaisier is co-principal with his partner Alyshia Marshall. The experienced real estate duo opened this brand new Ray White Swanson office in January this year, describing their agency as covering residential, lifestyle and acreage.

Written by Ray White New Zealand

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