Dilworth student spends school holidays helping families facing tough times
With school students all around the country stuck at home during their holidays at the conclusion of Term One due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Dilworth student Cailan Ashby (Year 12) decided to make good use of his time off.
Cailan saw that a charitable organisation, the Moko Foundation, was asking for more volunteers to help provide food parcels and resources to help families through the lockdown period. The organisation particularly focuses on areas where there are families who are in desperate need of help including Kaitaia, Kaikohe, South Auckland, Rotorua, Waikato, King Country, Waitara, Taranaki and Wairarapa. Cailan had seen and heard stories on the news of families who had lost jobs and were struggling to put food on the table. This motivated him to help in any way that he could. Cailan got in contact with Moko Foundation and applied to be a volunteer so that he could make a difference.
During the period that Cailan volunteered, he helped with shopping, transportation, packing and distribution. He demonstrated great community spirit and leadership through helping to coordinate parcel delivery. Cailan and his father Raymon were commended for their support to the community and were gifted vouchers from Pak n’ Save Silverdale so that they could purchase more grocery items to send to families in need. They also received a 3D printed mask that was generously donated by ShieldsUP NZ and Massey University who provided these to essential and frontline workers.
Cailan (right) with his dad Raymon (left) receiving a voucher from Pak n' Save Silverdale
Through this experience, Cailan has learnt to always be kind as we do not know what other families are going through. He has also learnt to appreciate what he has because he now understands that circumstances can change and we may not always be prepared for it.
Cailan wants to encourage other young people to volunteer their time to help a charity. He says “Give it a go! Not only do you get to meet new people but helping out your community makes you appreciate the opportunities you are given and to make the most of them.” The experience has been incredibly rewarding for him but a key highlight has been the gratitude from the families that have been helped. “Seeing the joy on families faces when we delivered the food parcels and knowing that although we couldn't change the position they were in at that moment, we had made them smile.”