Charity comes first for big prizewinners

00:00, Dec 11 2012
ON THE CARD: John and Shirley Jones of Stoke have won a $100,000 prize from Fly Buys.

What would you do if you won $100,000 to "Kill the Bills"?

John and Shirley Jones knew just what to do when they got a phone call last Monday morning telling them they had won the Fly Buys WIN competition.

The Stoke couple are Christians and have run a charitable organisation, Assist Ministries, for the past 14 years, so after jumping around the hall in excitement, the answer was simple. They will give away much of the win to causes they already support.

WARM GREETINGS: Shirley Jones in August 2012 in South Africa’s North West province with a group of South Africans wearing knitwear made and donated by women in Nelson.

They were picked in a draw simply through their Contact Energy automatic payment.

The "Kill the Bill" option they won consists of $65,000 from Fly Buys in a BNZ account, $25,000 to spend at New World, $5000 at Contact Energy and $5000 at Z Energy.

"It still seems unreal," said Mrs Jones.


They said the money would help with their airfares to places such as India and South Africa where they support the poor at a children's home, a school and a soup kitchen. It is a sharp contrast in lifestyle from Nelson to places such as Hyderabad in India and North West province in South Africa.

The Joneses are a link between the two, and in August took a boxful of hand-knitted jerseys and beanies made by Nelson women to children in South Africa.

Their practical work includes raising money to help Indian fishermen replace boats and nets lost in the 2004 tsunami.

Some of the people they help live on "near nothing", they say.

The Joneses have got used to living in two different worlds, but at first it was daunting.

"In the first few years when you'd come back and go to the supermarket you couldn't make a decision - there was so much choice.

"But you always come home and appreciate it."

"This is the most beautiful country in the world, it is God's own," said Mrs Jones.

Mr Jones started out working in Australia in a grocery shop, then a bakery and at 19 went to Bible college for three years.

After marrying, the couple went to Sydney to work with Christian youth organisations for 10 years, then came to Nelson to establish the Word of Life youth ministry before starting Assist Ministries.

Now 66, Mr Jones continues his work as an evangelist and preacher.

The couple, who have a son, a daughter and three grandchildren, also help out families close to home, and the supermarket spending prize will help there.

The Nelson Mail