The old adage “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” couldn’t be truer of two Year 12 Westlake students – and it’s all about #KiwisHelpingKiwis.
When lockdown was implemented, Mackenzie (Macka) Harvey (pictured above top) and Abigail Clements (pictured above bottom) decided they wanted to do something to help people financially affected by the pandemic. “We knew we wanted to do something to help others during this time of uncertainty,” says Abigail. “Macka came up with the idea of creating the Give A Little page for the Salvation Army after donating food at a food drive. We felt encouraged to do our part to help fellow Kiwis through these tough times, and came up with the idea to create an easy page for our friends and family to donate to help others, through the Give A Little programme.”
“We really wanted to make a difference in our community,” agrees Macka. “As teenagers we know it can be difficult to help out and create change. With our Give A Little page, we wanted to encourage everyone to help out by donating as little or as much as they could – because $2 could give a family a bag of rice, while $30 could provide a small family with meals for five days.
We created the idea of #KiwisHelpingKiwis,” she says.
The students admit it would have been fun to take part in some kind of challenge to fundraise, but this wasn’t possible at Levels 3 and 4. The beauty of the Give A Little page was that it was easily shareable on social media platforms.
“We choose the Salvation Army as they have a branch organisation called ‘The FoodBank Project’ which provides food parcels to thousands of kiwi families,” says Abigail. “Their project has significantly helped change the lives of New Zealanders who may struggle to eat, and we know demand for their help would be even greater this year due to the pandemic.”
Macka and Abigail set a target of $500 and as of today, they are only $30 away from reaching their goal. “We are very happy to be so near our target,” says Macka. “The campaign will close on Friday 15 May so there’s time for our Westlake Community to get involved.”
Shortly after the campaign launched, a member of the Salvation Army’s Public Relations team emailed Abigail. They said: “We are incredibly inspired by you and Macka who are doing their bit to help New Zealand through this time.” Once restrictions ease, the students hope to meet with the Salvation Army team and continue to work alongside them in the community.
Community service isn’t a new concept to these amazing teens. “We have been in our Houses’ Service Committees for several years and we’re passionate about giving back to our community,” they say. Abbie is in the Westlake UNICEF community and has attended conferences with UN Youth and the Ministry of Education. Macka is involved in coaching hockey inside and outside of school, and she also volunteers as a coach for Northcross Intermediate hockey programme, North Harbour Hockey and the Westlake Hockey 4th XI.
“Both of us love immersing ourselves with extracurricular activities.”
Here’s your chance to get the girls over the line with their fundraising campaign – remember, every little bit helps: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/kiwis-helping-kiwis-donate-to-the-salvation-army