Air­port do­nates dumped car to char­ity

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - EMILY FORD

Auck­land Air­port has found a new home for one of the many aban­doned cars that ended up in its carpark this year.

In­stead of its usual process of sell­ing off the good con­di­tion dumped Toy­ota, it has part­nered with a women’s refuge co­or­di­na­tor to help a lady in need.

Jackie Clark, founder of The Aun­ties char­ity, was brought to tears when the air­port of­fi­cially handed over the keys to the car, which now be­longs to a South Auck­land woman.

Part­nered with the Wheels for Women project, Clark says it’s an enor­mous ges­ture and will help the woman gain some in­de­pen­dence.

‘‘This is my dream and pas­sion and it means ev­ery­thing to me when peo­ple step for­ward. I get re­ally over­whelmed by peo­ple who do re­ally big things for us,’’ Clark says.

The Aun­ties was es­tab­lished by Clark five years ago and fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing much­needed items to women’s refuge cen­tres in Auck­land.

She says be­ing able to just give women things like cloth­ing and tow­els is over­whelm­ing for them as it rep­re­sents love.

‘‘Women who’ve lived through do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are not used to peo­ple car­ing about them.

‘‘It gives them hope which pushes them for­ward to be able to do any­thing.’’

Wheels for Women is a project in as­so­ci­a­tion with The Aun­ties to pro­vide cars to do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivors, with plans to de­liver three cars dur­ing its pi­lot run of the scheme this year.

‘‘Cars gives them safety and in­de­pen­dence and turns do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims into sur­vivors,’’ con­venor Ca­tri­ona MacLen­nan says.

About 60 cars are aban­doned at Auck­land Air­port each year, which the or­gan­i­sa­tion dis­poses of or sells through auc­tions af­ter it’s been left un­claimed for a few months.

It has been work­ing to do­nate the car to the char­i­ties for six months, which re­quired things like in­surance, a new reg­is­tra­tion, war­rant of fit­ness, and change of own­er­ship.

Peo­ple and safety gen­eral man­ager Anna Cas­sels-Brown says the project is a great way for the air­port to utilise cars which are in good or­der and give back to the com­mu­nity.

It’s now look­ing into other ways it can make use of its dumped cars, in­clud­ing through its stu­dent work ex­pe­ri­ence pro­grammes, Cas­sels-Brown says.

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