By Adrien Taylor
An initiative set up two years ago to streamline the process of giving to charities and schools has hit a milestone after receiving more than $5-million in donations.
And that is good news for the charities and people on the receiving end of that generosity, like ten-year-old Alysha Pakes, who met singer Taylor Swift at one of her concerts in Auckland.
Alysha Pakes is one of around two-hundred children each year whose wishes come thanks to charities such as Make-A-Wish, but making wishes come true does not come cheap and the charity is now promoting a initiative called Payroll Giving.
“It’s a fantastic way for people to donate, employers and employees,” says CEO of Make-A-Wish, Carolyn MacDonell. “It creates a real sense of sharing and caring.”
More than $5 million has been donated so far by a 100,000 workers at the 1300 companies that offer the scheme.
Employees set the amount and choose a charity or school to benefit then their employer deducts that amount from their pay and donates it directly.
“It’s set and forget really, so once you’ve got it set up it never comes into your pay packet, so you don’t even miss the money,” says Gus Goldsack, a Payroll Giving donor.
Telecom worker Mr Goldsack donates to four charities through the Telecom Foundation – which has set aside a million dollars to match staff donations dollar-for-dollar.
Telecom Foundation CEO Annie Ackerman says she would like more businesses and employees to get on board.
“We know this is a generous nation, our figures exceed others and it’s great – everybody can do it and do it easily,” says Ms Ackerman.
And that is music to the ears of Alysha and her parents