Amazing Kiwi Charities to Support This Christmas ’18
I wrote a similar article to this last year and it was so well received that I’ve decided to do it again!
Every year my family and I choose a New Zealand charity to give some love to. My sister Biz then connects with the directors of the chosen charity to figure out what they need most, gathers all the supplies and pressies, and then my family and I get together to package everything up and do a little working bee. It’s one of our favourite holiday traditions and it’s such a simple way to be love to those who need it.
Last year we supported a charity called Foster Hope, but there are so many charities in New Zealand doing meaningful work that don’t always get enough air-time. So I’ve put together a few of those lesser-known charities and thought that you and your family or colleagues might like to pick one to take under your wing this Christmas.
Foster Hope is the brain child of two Auckland women who came up with the idea to help caregivers with practical support when a foster child turns up on their door step late at night with little more than a rubbish bag of belongings. The organisation now has 8 branches throughout New Zealand that distribute “backpacks” with essential items for foster kids to agencies like Child Youth and Family, Open Home Foundation and Barnardos.
What They Need Most This Christmas: Toothbrushes, pyjamas, nappies, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, slippers.
Bees Up Top
Bees are responsible for one third of the world’s food because of their pollinating and Bees Up Top founders Jess and Luke have been urban beekeepers for five years. Their aim is to increase New Zealand’s bee population by supplying healthy, happy hives to urban areas and educate future generations on the importance of keeping those little buzzy workers around.
What They Need Most This Christmas: Rent a hive!!! Jess and Luke will assess your location and then move your new resident bees in, housed in their signature yellow and white striped home with a grass matt which the bees will use as a landing pad. Beyond cute. There are three prices to choose from and every option means you get to enjoy countless jars of honey made by your new bees every year.
The House Of Grace
The House Of Grace is a safe home for pregnant teens, dedicated to offering love, support and guidance to an often frowned-upon group in society. In 2001 there were very limited options for teen mothers in New Zealand so The House Of Grace was established and has since helped over 200 young women learn life skills and prepare for either parenting or the adoption process.
What They Need Most This Christmas: Baby towels and face cloths, new baby items like nappies, tissues and toilet paper, clothing airers, chilly bins and tinned food. All of these would make a huge difference in a young mum’s life.
Big Buddy is a mentoring service for fatherless boys. It was set up to develop courage, confidence and general wellbeing in young boys without dads through weekly male mentoring. To-date, Big Buddy have matched 800 mentors with boys aged between 7 and 14 years old from all walks of life.
What They Need Most This Christmas: Financial donations to help them continue their work, organise events and get the word out about Big Buddy through strategic marketing. If you know a male figure that might be interested in being a mentor, they can also apply through the website. Once men apply to become a mentor, they go through a carefully developed mentor screening process which determines if this is the right path for them. This takes about 8 weeks.
Garden to Table
Established in 2008, Garden to Table works with thousands of primary-school-aged children all across New Zealand, helping them discover a love for fresh food, learn about seasonality, the social aspect of sharing meals and increased numeracy and literacy. The programme is curriculum-integrated and children become involved in all aspects of gardening in an environmentally sustainable garden, cooking and then enjoying meals they have produced themselves. If you’re a primary school teacher this would be such a great idea to raise with your colleagues.
What They Need Most This Christmas: $5 will send ten packets of seeds to a school to get their garden started, $20 will help support a child in the Garden to Table programme for one year, and $45 will help train an entire school to deliver the Garden to Table programme.
Brain Injured Children Trust
The Brain Injured Children Trust is a non government-funded body who provide funding and equipment to families who’s children need intensive care as the result of a brain injury, such as Cerebral Palsy. They also provide emotional support and knowledge to parents of brain-injured children.
What They Need Most This Christmas: The Trust rely entirely on charitable donations to continue their life-changing work. You can organise directly with the charity to fund something specific like an exercise bike or a piece of therapy equipment, or you can make a financial contribution. The Trust also need volunteers who can help administer Neuro-Developmental Therapy Programs (NDTP).