''For preschoolers, something as simple as having their own name on a new jacket is important, because at that age, their identity is developing. Then they go to school, realising that they're as important and as worthy as the next child, and they push themselves to do really well. So, what KidsCan provides might be material things, but it translates into more.''
“I love being on the road. It really holds a special place in my heart, just getting to know people and their communities and hearing all of the passion and aroha that the kaiako [teachers] have for their kids. Just knowing the people behind the scenes that are cheering for the tamariki to do well, and putting all their efforts into making sure they have everything they need to do well, is huge."
There are those whose feats running the Auckland Marathon for KidsCan have made headline news. A firefighter who set a world record running in his full kit complete with breathing apparatus. And then there are the everyday Kiwis making a difference no matter their size, or the distance - like 6-year-old Toby Halse. He’s running 2.2km in this year’s Kids’ Marathon with his mates from Auckland’s Bayfield School, and says he has chosen to raise money for KidsCan because he hates to think of other children feeling hungry and having no jackets or shoes.
Alosia’s tears are also of gratitude. She is overwhelmed to see her house has been completely renovated, and every room is filled with new furniture. The household package comes thanks to thousands of Kiwis who donated to KidsCan’s flood appeal.
‘’We were one of the first schools on the programme, and it was like a godsend to have someone come in to offer support, because we were spending a lot of school money on food, but also teachers were donating their own money.‘’
Luisa grew up supported by KidsCan and was part of our first Youth Council in 2022. In this beautiful essay, she reflects on everything her family has endured - and how she's jumping at the chance to help her community that she values so much.
Life is hard for many of our families at the moment, and not just people that are on benefits, it’s our working families as well. And so it has just been a godsend for our kindergarten to have KidsCan support.
Teachers are warning of a gruelling winter ahead for children in poverty, as the cost-of-living crisis takes a major toll on struggling families. They say it is affecting learning, with more children arriving hungry, others barefoot in freezing weather, and sickness spreading in overcrowded, unheated homes. KidsCan has seen its waitlist double and has launched an urgent appeal to reach thousands of children who need support.