Articles by Matthew Gilligan

Giving back at Christmas

Monday, November 30, 2015
Christmas can be a very busy and challenging time of year. Easy as it is to get swept up in the stress, we are taking the time to think about everything we are grateful for, including living in a beautiful, peaceful country, and having wonderful clients and staff at GRA (and of course the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup!). 

But it is also a time to pause and reflect on the year that was. 

One of the things that we are reflecting on at present is the commitment our firm has made to the community and the outcomes we are achieving as a result. We believe it is important to give back, and it is rewarding to know that in some small way our efforts are making a positive difference. Our focus is on supporting kids in underprivileged households, orphans, kids in foster care, victims of domestic violence, and children whose parents are unable to care for them. We do this in several ways and it’s going really well.

GRA supporting kids – at Christmas and during the year
Doing our bit in the community for kids in tough neighbourhoods and difficult circumstances is something we feel very good about at GRA. Our principle of charitable giving is that we want to put food or gifts in kids’ hands, not fund office administration costs of charities. ‘Direct to beneficiary’ charitable donations if you like.

We do this in a couple of ways. Firstly with weekly funding of a South Auckland decile one primary school (paying for their Kid’s Breakfast Programme, feeding about 100 kids a day for the full school year). For three years now we have assisted Bronca Fox and the Papakura Christian Services Trust by fully funding food five days a week, and it is a pleasure to do it. Our staff have been going out there too, helping with the programme as we can. Kids learn better with full tummies, and it’s great to see the difference providing breakfast can make. 

Another thing we like to do is help out kids in CYF’s care, or kids who are removed from their homes, orphaned, or their parent or parents are in prison. We think these kids have a tough time and especially so at Christmas when they see others having family time and lots of gifts, while they are not so lucky. 

So this year we have worked with the very good people who run the Grace Foundation, to buy presents for 46 such children. We asked Grace Foundation for the background of each child so we could buy them something nice, and we are wrapping these gifts and addressing them by name, so the kids know someone is thinking about them at Christmas too. Scooters, board games, dolls - you name it we bought it on Friday and it was a practice event with all the GRA crew helping out. In total we are donating $8,000 worth of toys to underprivileged Kiwi kids, including these 46 Grace Foundation children, plus kids at Women’s Refuge and Foster Hope (in association with Barnardo’s).

We couldn’t do this without you as clients, so we take this opportunity to thank you for your help in achieving this result too. 

GRA directors shopping for toys at The Warehouse, Newmarket