Sweet 16 and helping her community
Janis Baker has decided she wants to give back to the community she has been a part of her whole life.
However, that life has not been particularly long because Baker is only 16 years old.
She is based in Kaponga and recently spent a Saturday cleaning up the community in an event she organised. She is also a volunteer firefighter.
‘‘A group of us got together and picked up rubbish around Kaponga,’’ Baker said.
‘‘We had a map of the town and everyone highlighted where they’d done, and we did the whole town.’’
Baker organised Clean Up Kaponga Day for Keep New Zealand Beautiful Week after someone mentioned the idea to her.
‘‘I posted it on the Kaponga Noticeboard originally and I went and put posters up around town,’’ she said.
Thirty-eight people took part in the event, which half-filled 15 bags with rubbish from within the perimeter of the 50kmh zone.
‘‘Because the weather wasn’t very good I was wondering if people were going to come,’’ Baker said. ‘‘But it went really well.’’
She said all ages took part in the clean up. ’’There were mums with four or five kids, and other parents with their kids, and they all added up.’’
The participants were also given a sausage sizzle as a thank you - organised by Baker.
‘‘I went through and asked a
‘‘She's a good asset to the Kaponga community.’’
Kaponga Fire Station deputy chief Todd Kells
couple of the local businesses if they could sponsor some sausages and bread and stuff,’’ she said.
Businesses, services and locals came together and gave sausages, bread, margerine and sauce.
The Kaponga Fire Station, where Baker volunteers, gave their barbecue to use.
Baker has been volunteering since April and is thoroughly enjoying it.
Kaponga Fire Station deputy chief Todd Kells said Baker fitted in well with everyone - ‘‘she’s just part of the team’’.
Kells said he had noticed Baker was very community-based person.
‘‘She’s a good asset to the Kaponga community,’’ he said. ‘‘She’s a pretty conscientious young girl.’’
Baker proved this when she talked about her priorities.
‘‘Say if the sirens were to go up now, I’d go down, I’d say ‘sorry, I’m going to go’,’’ she said
Janis Baker, 16, is a community-based young girl.