Young Gemma’s message of hope
Paper planes carrying messages of hope will soon be flying from Porirua to Wellington Hospital.
Gemma Lovewell, 10, has started the Paper Plane Project, where for every dollar donated she makes a paper plane with a message written on it.
The planes and the money are destined for Wellington Children’s Hospital.
Gemma has so far raised $467, with donations coming from as far away as the United States and Hong Kong.
She has a target of $1000 and has set herself a time limit.
Gemma said she was inspired after she read about Sadako and the paper cranes.
‘‘It’s a way to share hope with other children,’’ she said.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes is a children’s book about a young girl in Hiroshima.
When Sadako became sick from radiation she was inspired by the Japanese legend that if someone made 1000 origami cranes they would be granted a wish.
Her wish was to survive and grow up.
Gemma gave the story a modern twist by swapping cranes for planes. ‘‘They’re something fun to play with.’’
She first donated to the hos- pital when she was 4 by selling surplus vegetables in her neighbourhood.
When Gemma didn’t want to buy anything with the money she had raised, her mother, Robyn Lovewell, let her choose a charity to donate to.
Lovewell said the hospital staff were so welcoming of Gemma’s donation it encouraged her to do more.
‘‘The staff made such a fuss she kept on fundraisng,’’ Lovewell said. ‘‘It shows if we take our kids a little bit seriously it can make a big differece.’’
Gemma went on to make a pet rock factory to raise money and also wrote a book, giving a portion of the profit to the hospital.
Lovewell said she couldn’t be prouder of Gemma’s fundraising efforts and hoped they would inspire other children.
Gemma’s project has one more week to run and she’s hoping people will donate.
Donaters can send their own message or Gemma and her little brother Daniel will write them.
‘‘Never give up’’ and ‘‘hold on to your dreams’’ are two of the messages they’ve been sending to sick children.
Gemma Lovewell is fundraising for Wellington Hospital by making paper planes.