A donation of almost $66,000 will support hundreds of at-risk teens who aspire to change their lives.
Generous New Zealanders donated through the Warehouse Stationery Aspire fundraising campaign, helping teenagers across New Zealand participate in The Salvation Army’s ‘Aspire’ youth development programme.
The campaign raised $65,942 thanks to shoppers who added a donation to their purchase over three weeks in May and June. For the third year running Henderson was the most generous community in the country, with a third of customers at its Warehouse Stationery store donating – followed by Timaru and Chartwell in Hamilton.
Over the past three years more than 1000 young people have been helped by the year-long Aspire programme which works with schools to identify and help vulnerable young people.
Salvation Army social worker Jono Bell led the development and rollout of Aspire in 2015 and says it is a life changing programme for its participants.
“Some of the young people we work with are socially isolated or have got in with bad friends, drugs or alcohol and can be a struggle for schools to manage. Through Aspire we’ve seen huge changes in their confidence. They finish the programme knowing they have something positive to contribute and that someone knows their dreams and is supporting them.”
Along with meeting weekly in small groups, the young people also take part in an outdoor adventure experience and finish the year creating and carrying out a community project to benefit their local community. The programme also helps the wider family connect with additional support through The Salvation Army, Jono says.
“On a regular basis our youth development workers connect families of young people to our social services, foodbanks, budget advisors, counsellors, social workers, camps and youth programmes.”
Warehouse Stationery Chief Executive Officer Pejman Okhovat says the annual Aspire appeal is just one of many community initiatives the organisation supports to help families and young people in need.
“Warehouse Stationery is dedicated to helping families and young people flourish. We are delighted that our generous customers and passionate team got in behind the Aspire appeal to provide young people with the opportunity to develop skills they will use throughout their lives,” he says.
Robin Raymond, Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer
021 270 3683, (04) 802 6269 ext 24274