Purple Madona

December 25, 2013


One time on Hollywood Boulevard I saw a young girl with a baby. It was a crisp winter morning & her hair shone dark purple in the sun. She was panhandling outside the Holiday Inn & the door clerk came out & told her to be on her way & I wondered if anyone would recognize the Christ child if they happened to meet. I remember thinking it’s not like there are any published pictures & purple seemed like a good colour for a Madonna so I gave her a dollar just in case.

Copyright 2012. Brian Andreas at StoryPeople.

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One time on Hollywood Boulevard...

Purple Madonna

©2013 Brian Andreas 



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If . . .

July 24, 2013

If you’d offered to host a dinner for six people as a lot in a charity auction what would you serve and/or if you’d made the winning bid what would you want to eat?

We made the offer for an auction at the local church fair last month.

The three couples who made the winning bid are coming on Saturday and I can’t decide what to serve.

They paid $400 and something in total.

Something better than ordinary is required and it would be preferable if most of the meal could be prepared before the guests arrived.

Please help a small surf lifesaving club

March 31, 2013

A friend has asked me to spread the word and solicit votes for Warrington Surf Lifesaving Club:

BP is running a nationwide competition for Surf Life Saving, where an IRB (Inflatable Rescue boat) is the prize for the club with the most votes. Warrington Surf Club was leading the votes, since a campaign was kick started by Columba College, after the incident at Purakunui, when the IRB from their club was used.

The boats are worth $25,000 and for a small club like Warrington, this would mean lots of raffles, sausages sizzles and quiz nights to raise the money to buy one.

Please support Warrington and go on-line and vote for Warrington Surf Lifesaving Club, and to pass this on to friends, workmates and family for their votes (voting closes on Sunday March 31, so not long to go!). One vote per email address, so multiple emails equals multiple votes.

Please visit www.bpsurflifesaving.co.nz select Southern Region and then Warrington SLSC. 


Janet Frame’s house needs help

January 27, 2013

I’m doing my annual stint as receptionist at Janet Frame’s childhood home in Oamaru.


The first two visitors were from the Netherlands. They had read about the house in a book called New Zealand Detours and that is why they came to Oamaru.

The next visitors were four older women from Dunedin.

One of them stepped inside the door, stopped and said, “I’ve dreamed of coming here but never thought I would.”

She didn’t know Janet personally but loves her poetry.

As I type a couple from England are taking their time wandering through the rooms, soaking up the atmosphere.

The house was gifted to a trust and is maintained by volunteers.

The Trust has a plea:

Like all veterans of a certain age there comes a time when the usual day to day care is not enough to sustain you.  Our wonderful haven celebrating Janet Frame is showing her age and needs more than a little TLC.

We are extremely grateful for support we receive from friends, donors and visitors and these contributions help us with the day to day expenses each year.  Earlier last year it was discovered that the window frames all needed replacing as they were rotten then later in 2012 much to our horror it was discovered the plumbing needed extensive repairs as well.

We are trying to raise $6000 to cover the repairs bills for both sets of repairs and to tidy up after them.

Give a little is an approved charitable platform, now sponsored by Telecom.  This sponsorship means every cent donated goes to the cause you intended it for.  It is also a secure site that transfers the funds safely to the charity.

We are asking  the community of support for 56 Eden Street to ‘give a little’ to enable us to fundraise the amount to repair the property and keep it available to visit and store memories.

Please visit Give a Little on this link and donate to Fix our House http://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/fixourhouse  by clicking on the blue  Donate now button about the middle of your screen.

The Janet Frame Eden Street Trust is a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible.  A receipt can be downloaded on the spot.

I hope you pause from your day to day and help us keep this wonderful property safe and open to the public.

The Trustees of the Janet Frame Eden Street Trust.

Re-gift or sell

December 27, 2012

There’s always been re-gifting – passing on a gift you don’t want to someone else.

Now there’s TradeMe:

The Boxing Day ritual that sees thousands of Christmas presents re-emerge on Trade Me is under way, as Kiwis seek to find a new home for unwrapped items they don’t like, won’t use, or already have.

More than 20,000 items had landed on Trade Me since lunchtime on Christmas Day, and spokesman Paul Ford said the online marketplace provided people with an opportunity to recycle a gift, and make some pocket money along the way.

“Yesterday most of us will have received at least one gift that made us groan inwardly, but if you can’t exchange it then selling it to someone who genuinely wants it is often a better option than hiding it in the back of the wardrobe, sending it off to the dump, or awkwardly passing it on at Christmas next year.” . .

There is another option for unwanted gifts – passing them on to a charity shop.

Mr Ford said there were “regular offenders” that routinely turned up on site having missed the mark on Christmas Day. “These are often over-ambitious purchases on the lingerie front by both men and women, and items like books, ties, handbags and kitchen appliances all commonly crop up.”

But should we feel guilty about not keeping something we’ve been given?

The social taboo about recycling unwanted presents still remained, but was felt more keenly by gift receivers than by gift givers, according to research from the London Business School. “Receivers often over-estimate how offensive regifting is to the initial giver,” Mr Ford said. “But for givers, selecting and offering a gift is much more important than getting bitter and twisted about what happens to it after it’s been unwrapped.”

I’ve no doubt given gifts I thought were good ideas when buying them which might not be thought to be so good by those receiving them.

There are others that go out of fashion or just have passed their enjoy-by date.

I’d rather the recipients gave them away or sold them than held on to them unwillingly just because they were gifts.

About that trust

December 7, 2012

Susan Couch, the victim of a vicious attack in which her work mates were killed, has accepted the payment of $300,000 from the Corrections Department to settle her claim for exemplary damages.

Officer of Corrections, Ray Smith has said, the department is “doing right by Sue and her family”.

Compensation is only available in New Zealand via the ACC legislation…Sue is a social welfare beneficiary as ACC legislation does not provide her with adequate support” said Brian Henry.

ACC is not injury based compensation; it is salary based compensation.

Susan will continue the fight for compensation, which now moves to a campaign to change the ACC legislation so that victims, especially women, receive a fair outcome. . .

That is not a lot of money given the severity of her injuries which were inflicted by a man  with a string of violent convictions who was on parole.

I want to thank all my supporters over the past 11 years, especially Garth Mc Vicar and Sensible Sentencing Trust for the huge support I have received from them over those years”.

I also especially wish thank Winston Peters for the donation that established the Susan Couch Victims Trust, which helps all victims of violent crime”.

Ah yes, that trust.

That’s the one which was established with  some of the $158,000 New Zealand First owes taxpayers after spending parliamentary services’ funds on its 2005 election campaign.

I don’t begrudge Ms Couch any money. She is disabled as a result of her injuries and isn’t eligible for much compensation through ACC.

But the trust was established with money which ought to have been used to pay back parliamentary services.

Given that, we have a right to know how much it gave her and what other donations the trust has made.

Not such a quick dash

December 2, 2012

What was meant to be a quick dash into town to get my weekly fix of fine food from the Oamaru Farmers’ Market led me on a detour.

A friend at the market told me she’d just been to a house of flowers and I ought to go too.

It was a fundraising collaboration between Altrusa and floral artists.

The house and garden hosting the event were attractive to start with and the lawns and each room had been enhanced with stunning arrangements of flowers. Some had Christmas themes, all were amazing.

We were asked not to take photos so I can’t share any with you, but my mind’s eye is still full of beautiful floral pictures.

The quick dash to town took a lot longer than I’d planned but the detour was well worth the extra time.


1 Young Nat beats Labour Party

October 19, 2012

A Young Nat took part in Live Below the Line – living on just $2.25 a day for five days.

She raised more than $2,000 in sponsorship.

The Labour Party took part and raised $1,986.

One student managed to make more money for charity than Labour.

Can we claim another victory for the principles of self-reliance and capitalism against socialism?



Wish for a smile

October 16, 2012

A few weeks ago friend who is an orthodontist spoke to me about a trust her profession was planning to set up to help children whose families can’t afford treatment.

It sounded like a good idea but like many good ideas needed a lot of work to make it work.

That work has now been done and the Wish for a Smile Trust was launched last night.

The Wish for a Smile Trust is a public health initiative of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists. The trust aims to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young New Zealanders who would otherwise be unable to access orthodontic care.

Orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference to a child through increased self esteem and an optimistic future outlook. Unlike standard dental care, orthodontics is not free for young people in New Zealand.

Wish for a Smile

This isn’t cosmetic surgery for the vain, it’s orthodontic treatment for young people with serious dental problems.

Campbell Live’s story about the trust is here.

Political activism isn’t charity

September 5, 2012

Greenpeace is in the Court of Appeal trying to overturn a ruling that it doesn’t qualify for charitable status:

Greenpeace of New Zealand, the environmental lobby group, is too big to miss out on charitable status just because the actions of a few members may be deemed illegal, the Court of Appeal heard today.

Counsel for the non-profit organisation , Davey Salmon, told Justices Rhys Harrison, Lynton Stevens and Douglas White, there was no evidence Greenpeace was engaged in illegal activities that would block it from registering as a charity. Even if some members were found to have trespassed in their non-violent action in support of Greenpeace’s goals, it was a side-issue to the organisation’s primary goals. . .

They’re arguing it’s only a few members whose actions are illegal. But look at the organisation’s core values:

. . . We take non-violent direct action to raise the level and quality of public debate and end environmental problems. Whether it’s a sit-in in front of a local government, or the scaling of an oil rig – peaceful direct action is our way to get us all talking and demonstrate solutions. . .

Scaling an oil rig isn’t very different from a sit-in on an oil drilling ship for which Greenpeace activists were charged and pleaded guilty earlier this year.

Both  look a lot more like political activism than charitable service.

Red Nose Day

August 24, 2012

It’s Red Nose Day.

The proceeds go to Cure Kids and the very worthy cause is getting support from town and country:

 We're supporting Red Nose Day!

(Photo from Beef + Lamb NZ’s Facebook page).

Community Internship Programme applications open

August 24, 2012

The Community Internship Programe is calling for applications from not-for-profit groups in need of professional help.

The Community Internship Programme (CIP or the programme) funds hapū, iwi or community groups with identified development needs to employ skilled professionals from the public, iwi, private or community sectors as interns for three to six months.

The programme is designed to achieve specific capacity-building outcomes for host hapū, iwi or community organisations, and relationship-building outcomes between the public, private, iwi or community sectors.

The programme focuses on skill-sharing and the exchange of knowledge between sectors, while building ongoing relationships which continue after an internship ends.

Invercargill MP Eric Roy gives an example: a member of the NZ Police is currently helping Ngāti Porou to develop a youth mentoring programme to support youth at risk.

Not-for-Profit organisations are usually long on passion but can be short on skills.

This is a great idea to marry that passion with the skills they need and foster an on-going relationship with the Not-for-Profit sector.

Paying to implode

July 24, 2012

If you’ve ever wanted to demolish something big, here’s your chance to bid for it on TradeMe:

Naylor Love & Ceres NZ, the contractors demolishing 14-storey Radio Network House in Christchurch, have donated this fundraising opportunity for someone to ‘push the button’ to detonate the explosives that will bring the building down, to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund – http://www.savecanterburyheritage.org.nz  

The current bid is $8050.

From Services to service

July 19, 2012

New Zealand’s only living VC recipient,Willie Apiata, is changing career:

Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Rhys Jones, today announced that Corporal Willie Apiata, V.C. is to leave the Regular Force of the New Zealand Defence Force to pursue an employment opportunity in the private sector.

Lieutenant General Jones says Corporal Apiata advised the NZ Defence Force several months ago of his intention to terminate his Regular Force service. He will remain a member of the Defence Force’s Reserve Forces.

The Army isn’t saying what he’s doing but Stuff reports he will be working for the High Wire Trust, a charity which works with at-risk youth.

One of the reason some of those youth are at-risk is an absence of good male role models in their lives.

Another is the lack of opportunity for hard, physical challenges.

It would be difficult to think of anyone who could provide a better role model and help young people direct excess physical energy in positive directions that Willie Apiata.

All charities struggle for funding and his presence on the staff will no doubt make it easier for the trust to attract sponsorship and donations too.

He’s moving from the full-time Services but his new career will be providing invaluable community service.


The Great Southern Marmite Drive

March 22, 2012

It’s been dubbed Marmageddon – the great Marmite shortage which was sparked off  by the announcement from Sanitarium that it had halted production of the spread after earthquake damage to its Christchurch factory.

But all is not lost for people who are partial to the sticky brown spread. Southern Region Young Nationals have come to the rescue of Marmite-dependents who won’t be able to afford their fix.

A media release from their chair, James Rawiri Meager says:

The Young Nationals Southern Region today launched a charity appeal urging people from around the deep south to open their cupboards and their hearts by donating any excess jars of Marmite to charity.

With a Facebook Event called “The Great Southern Marmite Drive”, Southern Chair James Rawiri Meager says that in light of the recent shortage of Marmite around the country, it was important that his team lend a hand to those short on their favourite breakfast spread.

“We’re calling on all people of all political persuasions to join us in collecting excess Marmite to distribute to those who cannot afford to stockpile the silky black gold, and who are not able to pay excessive prices for jars on TradeMe”

With jars of Marmite currently fetching upwards of $60 on TradeMe, Meager says that we must look to charity to make sure local kids and families don’t miss out.

 “Good on those who are being entrepreneurial and playing the game of supply and demand, but we think it’s also important to do the right thing and make sure those Kiwi families who are likely to miss out on their Marmite are provided with some form of relief. I’m sure there’s nothing worse than having to tell your distraught 7-year-old that there’s no more Marmite for his toast or sammies”.

The Southern Young Nats will be collecting any Marmite surplus to your requirements up until Sunday 8:30pm. Drop off points around Dunedin, Invercargill, Gore, Balclutha and Oamaru will be finalised shortly and advertised on the Facebook Event “The Great Southern Marmite Drive”.

I’m impressed by this combination of entrepreneurial approach to charitable giving.
The Facebook page lists drop off points for marmite or other non-perishable food items:
**Dunedin** Office of MP Michael Woodhouse, 333 Princes Street Wed & Fri 9:30am – 3:30pm Clubs and Societies, 84 Albany Street Wed – Thurs 9:00am – 10:30pm Fri 9:00am – 5:30pm Sat – Sun 10:00am – 8:30pm **Oamaru** Electorate Office of MP Jacqui Dean, 42 Thames Street Wed – Fri 9:00am – 3:00pm **Gore** Electorate Office of Hon. Bill English, 15 Main Street Wed – Fri 10:00am – 3:00pm **Invercargill** Electorate Office of Eric Roy, 97 Dee Street Wed – Fri 10:00am – 3:00pm **Queenstown** Electorate Office of Hon. Bill English, 1085 Frankton Road Wed – Fri 10:00am – 4:00pm.
There is more about the Marmageddon story at Channel 9.

Fonterra inviting applications for assistance in Christchurch

February 13, 2012

Any politician knows that you rarely get acknowledged for the good you do and will always be criticised for any lapses.

Businesses suffer from a similar lack of appreciation.

Take Fonterra for example.

When the company’s plan to provide free milk for low decile schools was announced their was some appreciation but the predominant sentiment was, and so they should.

If many ever knew that Fonterra had donated more than $6 million to the Canterbury earthquake recovery, most will have forgotten.

A newsletter to suppliers reminds us:

Immediately after each quake, Fonterra provided on-the-ground Civil Defence support including the provision of water through milk vats and tankers, distribution of UHT and flavoured milk to welfare centres, and assistance with the urban search and rescue effort through our 24-strong Emergency Response Team. Our suppliers also provided emergency accommodation for people affected by the earthquake.

To further assist the Christchurch community, we created a fund that acted as a central collection point for donations from suppliers, staff and joint venture partners.
Fonterra pledged $1 million after each quake. Our suppliers, staff and joint venture partners raised a further $1.9 million for a total of $3.9 million that was donated directly to the Red Cross.

Fonterra also matched dollar-for-dollar the $1.9 million raised to create the ongoing Fonterra Rebuilding Communities Programme. Through Rebuilding Communities, Fonterra has provided donations to The Prime Minister’s Earthquake Relief Appeal, Canterbury Business Recovery Fund and Rise Up Christchurch – Te Kotahitanga Telethon. The Programme has also welcomed applications for funding for direct assistance to Christchurch community groups, clubs and schools.

A final call for funding is open until the end of the month. Any funds left after February 29 will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal.

Applications can request funding of up to $5,000 for initiatives that fall into the following categories:

1.Community Safety – development of new safety projects such as safety equipment or training to further prepare the community for future disasters. Support in the past has gone to survival kits and first aid training.
2.Christchurch Community – support in replacing essential wellbeing equipment such as toys and books for libraries. This has a positive effect for families, especially children.
3.Environmental Sustainability – restoration of environmental areas which encourage community spirit in schools, early childhood centres and the wider local community. Previous examples include replanting trees and replacing garden beds.

If you know of any groups which could benefit from this funding please spread the word.

Cleaning from the inside

January 14, 2012

Quote of the day:

 This kind of tattoo is best removed from the inside outwards. Macdoctor

Help the Farming Show team with Movember

November 29, 2011

Like Cactus Kate I’m not keen on moustaches but I am a sucker for a good cause and couldn’t resist the plea from Jamie Mackay.

He and the blokes at Farming Show HQ in Dunedin have got behind Movember and are soliciting donations:

Near and Dear Friend and/or Acquaintance/Colleague

It’s Movember and time to focus on men’s health. To show my commitment, I’m donating my face to the cause by growing a moustache for the entire month of November, and we desperately need your support. I have been told I look like a “rat staring out a drainpipe” but I’m prepared to sacrifice personal vanity and pride because it’s all in the name of raising vital awareness and funds for prostate cancer and male depression.

To aid my fundraising I have enlisted the services of a wonderful philanthropist, Sir Eion Edgar, who has very generously agreed to match my personal fundraising on a 1:1 basis up to $4000.  So for every dollar you donate as from today, Movember will benefit by $2.  I have put my money where my (upper) mouth is by donating $1000 from my charitable speaking fund.

Now I’m asking you to do likewise and support my Movember campaign (even if it’s only $10 or $20) by making a donation by either:
*Donating online at: http://www.movember.com/m/1653474 and clicking on the “Donate To Me” tile.
*Writing a cheque payable to ‘Movember Donation Fund,’ referencing my Registration ID: 1653474 and mailing it to: Movember, PO Box 12 708, Wellington 6144

Thank you in advance for supporting my efforts to change the face of men’s health. All donations are tax deductible.

The Farming Show team is currently the lying third in the country for fundraising.  With your help, and that of Sir Eion Edgar, we can lead the country in the fight for men’s health.

Cheers.  Your generosity is much appreciated. 

On the Farming Show yesterday Jamie said the team is now in first place.

You’ve got a little more than a day to give a donation that will help them stay there and regardless of where the team comes, you’ll be helping a very good cause.

It’s Aftersocks Day

September 2, 2011

Rural Women NZ have declared today Aftersocks Day.

“Our aftersocks™ have been a huge success since their launch in July, with tens of thousands of dollars raised for the Christchurch Mayoral Fund,” says RWNZ National President, Liz Evans.

On 2 September Rural Women New Zealand is urging all its aftersocks™ customers to pull on a pair and to send in photos of where they get to in their socks.

Rural Women New Zealand members around the country will be hitting the streets selling aftersocks™, making sure everyone around the country has a pair to wear.

Sunday is the first anniversary of the Canterbury earthquake and the earth is still moving.

A 4.9 magnitude shake woke up Christchurch this morning, following  4.0 and 4.8 shakes yesterday.

Why the secrecy when it’s not a secret? – updated

August 11, 2011

Helen Clark is back in New Zealand and told the Bay of Plenty Times she wouldn’t be giving interviews and was “home on family business”.

She is perfectly entitled to visit her family and not give interviews, but I don’t know why she wouldn’t in this case because it was an opportunity for her to promote a very good cause. 

One of the reasons she’s back in New Zealand was to speak at a fundraising dinner for Project HHH – Hearts and Hands for Haiti. That was publicised in the ODT, Oamaru Mail and HHH’s website.

Oamaru nurse Robyn Coupler spent more than 30 years working in Haiti. She was back home when the earthquake which killed more than 230,000 people struck.

She and local supporters set up HHH to help survivors and the trust has sent several teams of doctors, nurses and physiotherapists to Haiti.

Robyn already had local networks and the teams were able to work with local people to give the help they needed most in contrast to the United Nations teams which some thought were doing little good and some harm.

A supporter of HHH contacted Ms Clark who was impressed by the work the charity was doing and offered to help.

That’s it – a good cause, no conspiracy so why the secrecy?

Hat Tip for the BPT link: Whaleoil

UPDATE: The ODT’s report on last night’s funciton is here.


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