Meet Auckland's own 'Mother Teresa'

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Wellington, June 15 (ANI): A woman has become the "Mother Teresa" of Auckland with her tireless efforts to help the poor.

Claire Adams-Adamiak, 71, may be twice the age of many of the street people she helps, but it does not stop her from making weekly trips from her home in Papatoetoe by train.

She has earned herself the name "Mother Teresa of Queen St" after the Mother Teresa medallion that she wears around her neck, and some remember her as the "Weet-Bix lady" because she used to give out helpings of the cereal.

But among Auckland's homeless, Adams-Adamiak is known as "Mum".

Her work had begun on the streets of London 30 years ago, after seeing the city's homeless up close.

"I went back to where I was staying. I sat on my bed and said, 'What do you want me to do, God?'" the New Zealand Herald quoted her as revealing.

"He said, 'Go and feed as many as you can'. So I bought bread rolls and fruit juice, and I've been going ever since," she said.

Adams-Adamiak has volunteered with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in London and in Albania.

She has fed whole families on the streets in Israel, offered fruit juice in Sydney and handed out bananas to children in Rome.

Then she began caring for the homeless in her hometown by stopping full-time work as a nurse and midwife and moving to a three-day week.

"People say the homeless make their own problems," Adams-Adamiak said, though she believes it is not her place to judge.

"Thirty years ago, I made a pact with God: you judge, I feed. It's worked out quite well. You don't know what's going on in their lives," she explained.

But not everyone accepts her sincere efforts, and some even turn her away.

"One old guy of about 80 walked in front of a tour bus. He said, 'That bus got in my way.' I said, 'Are you hungry?' He said, 'No, I'm a Presbyterian'," she revealed.

At times though her good deeds are rewarded, making all her efforts worthwhile.

"One of the ladies with glue, I said, 'If you keep on like this, Brenda, you will die'. She said, 'I don't care'. I said, 'Well, I care'," Adams-Adamiak revealed.

"And do you know, about six months ago this lady was sitting in Queen St all nicely dressed.

"She said, 'Claire, thanks to you I pulled myself up and I got a job'," she added. (ANI)

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