Birthday benefits others
This year marked a birthday to remember for Richie Lovelock.
He decided to ditch the typical rowdy celebration for his 30th and visit three charities with his mates instead.
‘‘The massive difference between hearing about all these issues and actually doing something about them was frustrating me,’’ he says.
So the Pt Chevalier resident told his closest friends and family to keep their entire day free on November 8.
He organised for the group to visit Home and Family Counselling, Mercy Hospice and the Auckland Deaf Society.
Along the way he split everyone off into teams and they had to battle it out in themed challenges.
At Home and Family Counselling the teams created a mural which encapsulates the charity’s values.
Now the piece of art decorates the fence outside the Mt Eden property.
Lovelock says it was rewarding experience for all.
‘‘It was such a small idea at the start – visit a charity,’’ he says. ‘‘But I knew it was the right thing to do and we managed to shape it into something incredibly fun.’’
He says the three organisations were eager to come on board and helped to create exciting but relevant challenges.
‘‘When we went to the deaf society we had to order our drinks using sign language because the bartender was deaf,’’ he says.
It was an experience that opened his eyes to the wonderful work charities do, he says.
Lovelock is already planning to extend on the idea for his next birthday.
Home and Family Counselling executive director Shelley Anderson says Lovelock did an amazing job of bringing young people and local charities together.
‘‘The art piece provides an inspirational, positive message about the importance of connectedness, hope, resilience, mental wellbeing, and the role counselling plays.’’