Youngsters pitching in
Raising cash for the local care centre
A free pick up and drop off service for children attending Sunny Days Early Childhood Care and Education Centre has just had a boost, with a $1000 cheque from Napier Boys’ and Girls’ High Interact clubs last week.
Napier Boys’ High School (NBHS) Interact club president Sukhjinder Singh was the main organiser for the project, where both high schools’ clubs supported each other to raise the money. After raising funds for prostate cancer last year, they decided to try and make it local this year.
“We wanted to show the community that the youth in Napier is doing something to make the community a better place,” Sukhjinder says.
From a short list of potential organisations they could fundraise towards, Sukhjinder says the Napier Family Centre stood out.
“With the energy they had in our first meeting and the drive they have to provide education for the youth as well as adults who are less fortunate, we found it truly inspiring. The least we could do was to fundraise a bit of money for them to buy a new van for their early childhood centre, Sunny Days.”
Kath Curran from the Napier Family Centre says the van is old and needs replacing.
“We cannot risk it breaking down. Parents tell us that their child would not be able to attend early learning if there wasn’t a free van service. Many families will have one car that is needed by the parent working or, if Mum needs to take care of a wee baby, then the older sibling does not need to miss out on early learning. Some families just
need the extra help as they may be struggling. The fundraising that these young people are doing for us has also helped our grant applications towards the $35,000 cost of a new van as funders like to see efforts at grassroots.”
The clubs — 20 from NBHS and 15 from NGHS — have been fundraising for this project since the start of Term 3, beginning with a car wash at school and ended with a sausage sizzle at the Watchman Road opening ceremony.
“It has only been around six months, but we have learnt so much over these months and have definitely come out with more knowledge that we came in with.” Sukhjinder says there’s also something about giving back to the community that feels rewarding.
“Especially after all the work that has been put in by us, we are very excited with the outcome of our hard work.”
With the target of $1000 exceeded, the extra is being put aside for next year.
“We achieved our target happily and the little bit extra will be held on for next year to help with the fundraisers that we will most definitely be holding.”
Interact is the junior arm of Rotary for 12-18 year olds.
NBHS Interact Club is mentored by the Rotary Club of Ahuriri (Napier) Inc and NGHS has a mentor from Rotary Club of Napier.
“We try to have a Rotary member at each of their meetings, just as guidance, but the girls and boys make their own decisions and
organise all their own projects,” says Rotary Club of Ahuriri member Lynne Anderson.
Next year’s recipient will be decided by the leaders of the clubs. Sukhjinder says part of the Interact Club is to give everyone a go with leadership positions and help everyone understand what goes on in a club and how to manage one.
“It is definitely a likely option that we will fundraise for the Napier Family Centre again in the future.”
Kath says the Family Centre has been filled with admiration for the NBHS and NGHS students.
“Their energy and skills in their events have brought us a significant contribution and inspired our team to fundraise too.
“It lifts our spirits to see these young leaders in action.”
Napier Girls’ High School and Napier Boys’ High School students with children from Sunny Days Early Childhood Centre pictured with their current van: (front from left) Kaydence Sparks, Clarissa Lilananda, Johnson HeremiaBrown, Kahlee-Hana Tamati-Keil, Alice Oliver, Tiare Rima-Ngamotu and Daniel Lynch. (From back left) Ana Murphy, Eastern-Kapree Mansell Taane, Emma Chard, Zoe Wood, Sukhjinder Singh, Mihnea Vlad and Sol Cerson.