What does an accounting firm, primary school, charitable organisation and exporting business have in common?
They’re all based in Hawke’s Bay and have inadvertently played a part in an impromptu chain of giving, which has seen humbling results for all involved.
It began when Crowe Horwath Accountants and Business Advisors, based in Hastings, recently moved offices and donated all their pre-loved office furniture to Taradale Primary School, which is transitioning from single desks to a Modern Learning Environment (MLE).
This left the school with excess furniture, which needed to be moved smartly in order to fit the new furniture in.
Only a fraction of the furniture was sold when offered to friends and families of the school, which left Taradale Primary School Principal, Marty Hantz, scratching his head. He had a pile of furniture and nowhere for it to go.
Cue Ngaia Richardson, Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC) Volunteer Manager and mother of two Taradale Primary School students. Ngaia heard about the furniture situation and asked for it to be donated to Presbyterian Support East Coast, which works to change the cycle of family violence, child abuse and neglect through its Family Works service.
“As soon as I heard about the furniture situation I rang Marty to see if it could be donated to PSEC. If it wasn’t used at Family Works I thought it could be sold in our charity stores,” Ngaia says.
“We are grateful Marty chose our organisation to donate it to.”
Due to the urgency of the school needing space, Ngaia quickly arranged for the PSEC charity shops truck to collect the furniture and it was filled to the brim with school desks, chairs, meeting tables, office desks, filing cabinets the list goes on!
However, unfortunately PSEC charity shops were short on space to accommodate all of the furniture and Ngaia saw herself in Marty’s shoes – a pile of furniture and nowhere for it to go.
“I had to think quickly. I phoned my friend Tara at Taylor Corporation, an apple exporting business. They employ a large team of Tongan workers for the apple packing season and were already sending two shipping containers of donations to Tonga, in light of Cyclone Gita, to help the families and communities of their workers.”
The end result? Taylor Corp bought the entire truck load. They are paying for all shipping costs as well as paying PSEC for the furniture, plus providing PSEC volunteers on the day with apples and Taylor Corp hats.
“It is a wonderful result for everyone. Crowe Horwath helped Taradale Primary School upgrade their furniture; Taradale Primary School helped Presbyterian Support East Coast raise money for their Family Works service and Taylor Corp were able to help their employees rebuild their communities back home in Tonga.
“The best thing was seeing the look on the Tongan workers’ faces when they found out the container was going back to their home land. They were so grateful – some of them broke down in tears,” Ngaia says.