Award proceeds thrill charities

SOPHIE SPEER
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2012
Choice Charities
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

Charity award winners Tracy Wellington, left, of Kiwi Community Assistance, and Helen Trim, of Dress for Success, at the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards at the Amora Hotel.

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Community-based charities Kiwi Community Assistance and Dress for Success Wellington won The Dominion Post Readers' Choice Charity Donation, awarded at the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards on Thursday.

KIWI COMMUNITY ASSISTANCE

A week before its first birthday, Tawa-based charity Kiwi Community Assistance was shocked to discover it had won $5000 and $5000 worth of advertising in The Dominion Post.

''We told our volunteers and sponsors we were going, but we didn't expect to win,'' co-founder and volunteer Tracy Wellington said.

''Do you know how much money we've been running on in the last year? We've spent a total of $1800 in a year. We've run on the smell of an oily rag.'' 

The charity began after Ms Wellington and her husband, Phil Davies, watched the television documentary Inside Child Poverty and decided to take action.

They gather donations of household goods, clothing, toys, books and food, and give them to families in need.

Ms Wellington said the award was unexpected and they had not decided what to spend it on.

''Now we can get name badges so when we do our food rescue we can look more professional, or we can get wet-weather gear, or some crates for the food rescue.''

She believed the money would last the next two years, and allow them to continue to help families get the basic necessities.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS WELLINGTON

In 10 years, Dress for Success Wellington has dressed more than 3000 women for job interviews and first jobs.

Dress for Success Wellington helps women into employment by offering professional clothing for job interviews and career development tools to help them thrive at work and in life.

Helen Trim, the president of the society, said seeing the joy on the women's faces made the job worth it.

''Their faces light up when they see how they look, how different they look with work-appropriate clothes for going to work or for an interview.''

Ms Trim said they were pleased to receive the award, because the other nominees were all ''equally as commendable''.

''Winning is nice for the volunteers, because they work so hard and it's great for them to be recognised in the community.''

The charity's board would decide what to spend the money on, but Ms Trim said it would help them expand their programme, allowing ongoing professional mentoring with volunteers and clients.

''We're thrilled to receive this donation and we'll put it to very good use.''

Contact Sophie Speer
Culture and Capital Day reporter
Email: sophie.speer@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @sophie_speer

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- The Dominion Post

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