It takes a village to feed a child
NIMBY is a term I have come to know very well over the years in the community/youth work field. It means "Not in my back yard"- an attitude many Kiwis have towards our ever-present societal needs.
It's not a blatant denial that there is abuse and poverty out there, it's more of an apathy towards its existence.
It is all too easy for us to lay down blame on parents and how terrible they are, and it's all too easy for us to 'like' a facebook status about an "issue" we have a narrow opinion on. It's even easier for us to sponsor a child in Africa, than to support our own.
However, when it comes to kids going to school hungry, not having a decent breakfast and packed lunch, it appears there is now a growing movement of support and triumph.
Sure, there are still NIMBY extremists on one side of the issue pointing and blaming other people, but it appears more and more New Zealanders are starting to give and help.
On Friday, Campbell Live helped raise over $300,000 for Kids Can through an initiative called National Lunchbox Day.
Kids Can is an incredible charity which has been around a while, doing some amazing work for disadvantaged youth. This was an incredible achievement and it's given me hope and some motivation to work on something more local.
A few weeks ago I tagged along with my family to a "Clue Rally" organised by the Tickford Owners' Club Taranaki. It was a charity run where we had to drive around North Taranaki collecting clues, doing challenges and buying certain food items for the foodbank.
It was lots of fun and the club matched every item of food we purchased for the foodbank.
It's not at the forefront of our minds to just go out and donate food to charity, but when you make it fun and a good time, with charity as the purpose, NIMBY becomes FIMBY - fun in my back yard.
How about we do something local for our kids in school?
I'm sure it wouldn't take much to donate breakfast and lunch items as one of the many steps towards easing poverty in Taranaki, because it does exist.
Make it fun, engaging and something that self-sustains.
Here's the idea:
Taranaki Vision "Sponsor a School". We ask the principals and teachers what issues and ideas they have and formulate an initiative that self-governs and self-sustains - for those in need within a school environment.
I know there are numerous charities out there doing similar work; it would be vital to include them as well. I will do some homework and make a few calls.
Let's get our A into G and do our best to beat poverty in Taranaki!