Power div­i­dends bonus for char­ity

Napier Courier - - News -

Uni­son cus­tomers will re­ceive an early Christ­mas present of $220 each, as Hawke’s Bay Power Con­sumers’ Trust div­i­dend cheques ar­rive in peo­ple’s let­ter­boxes this week.

For many fam­i­lies, this will be a wel­come bonus for the fes­tive sea­son, while the money may never even reach oth­ers’ bank ac­counts.

Linda Calder, de­vel­op­ment man­ager of Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion, says ev­ery year, around $300,000 of power div­i­dend cheques are never banked.

“Imag­ine the im­pact this money could have if it was chan­nelled back to help our lo­cal char­i­ta­ble sec­tor,” Linda says.

“We’re en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple who can af­ford it to con­sider how this div­i­dend could be used to help those in our com­mu­nity who are less for­tu­nate.”

The Foun­da­tion has set up an on­line do­na­tion fa­cil­ity on its web­site to make it easy for peo­ple to gift some or all of their div­i­dend to char­ity. Linda says all dona­tions will be pooled and in­vested for the long-term, with the in­ter­est used to sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions work­ing at grass-roots level in the com­mu­nity.

“If just 1000 peo­ple each gave their $220 div­i­dend to the Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion, that would re­sult in $220,000 in­vested in our re­gion, for­ever,” Linda says.

“In 10 years’ time, the orig­i­nal in­vest­ment will have grown to around $280,000, and more than $87,000 would have been re­turned to the com­mu­nity through grants. In 100 years’ time, the orig­i­nal $220,000 should have grown to a stag­ger­ing $2.6m, with more than $3.7m in­vested back into our com­mu­nity.”

Christina McBeth, man­ager of food re­dis­tri­bu­tion char­ity Nour­ished for Nil, un­der­stands first-hand the im­pact this money could have on the fam­i­lies they sup­port.

The char­ity pro­vides food to be­tween 160 and 300 peo­ple a day from their Hast­ings dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre, as well as pro­vid­ing food parcels to in­di­vid­u­als re­ferred from so­cial ser­vices. In the first 10 months of 2018, it served close to 39,000 peo­ple and res­cued 245 tonnes of food that would oth­er­wise be des­tined for land­fill.

“I’m hap­pily giv­ing my HBPCT div­i­dend to the Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion be­cause it’s an ef­fec­tive way to do­nate a gen­er­ous amount of money to or­gan­i­sa­tions who will take it and turn it into more,” Christina says. “I ab­so­lutely love the Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion model be­cause it is fu­ture proof­ing. It thinks be­yond to­day and now. Most fund­ing is for the short term and a one-hit won­der. Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion en­cour­ages lo­cal in­vest­ment and it cre­ates fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for or­gan­i­sa­tions that they can not only count on, but one that con­tin­ues to grow! It doesn’t re­ally get bet­ter than that.”

Nour­ished for Nil is one of 50 char­i­ties who re­ceived a grant from Hawke’s Bay Foun­da­tion in their 2018 fund­ing round. McBeth says the grant will help them im­ple­ment new mea­sures to en­sure no one is turned away.

“It means we don’t have to spend weeks fundrais­ing and ask­ing around for help, when a need is iden­ti­fied.”

For more in­for­ma­tion or to make a do­na­tion, visit hawkes­bay­foun­da­tion.org.nz or tele­phone 870 4648. All dona­tions over $5 are el­i­gi­ble for a 33.3 per cent tax re­bate.

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