On the 5th of August this year KidsCan turned 12 years old.
The time has gone so fast, it seems like it was only yesterday we sent out the first raincoats and pairs of shoes and socks from my garage in Greenhithe.
We started providing these items to 40 partner schools, and by the end of 2017 more than 700 will be receiving our support.
I'm often asked whether things have gotten better or worse for children in hardship over the years. Sadly, the answer is worse and we are needed now more than ever.
For example, on average five years ago, 11% of kids on a school roll would be hungry and in need of our food programme. Now in 2017, the average is 21% with more than 27,000 hungry children a week receiving food from KidsCan.
The reason I started KidsCan was because of my passionate belief that education equals opportunity. I also believe that one of the best things we can do for New Zealand is to ensure all children have the opportunity to thrive, to feel valued and as though they belong.
Imagine if businesses, the community, individuals and government could work together to set targets to reduce hardship so that eventually KidsCan is no longer needed.
Imagine if families who are doing their best and working hard had enough money to pay the rent, power, general bills and to put enough food on the table each day for themselves and their children.
I imagine this all the time and I don't feel like I'm asking for too much. I hope you enjoy seeing the difference your support is helping to create.
KidsCan CEO and Founder