ASB Good as Gold is an ASB initiative recognising, rewarding and helping wonderful people in our community. We ask the public to nominate people who are making a real difference in their community, have grabbed hold of life against the odds or who really deserve help in a time of hardship. The recipients are featured on TV One’s Seven Sharp programme.
Every child deserves to know that someone cares about them. For children moving in and out of foster homes, the small comforts like PJs, socks and toiletries go a long way to helping them feel like they are valued. Debbie Sutcliffe runs Foster Hope Northland, which provides backpacks for children taken into care so they don’t feel as if they only have the clothes on their backs when they arrive at their new placements.
Debbie gives every second to the cause, and her home overflows with donated goods she works so hard to source. There are over 500 backpacks filled each year with toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo etc.) and a few items that will show them they are loved (books, soft toys etc.) She never takes any payment from the charity, and uses her own transport to travel from Dargaville all the way up to Kaitaia in support of Foster Hope. For these children, the backpack is something they can call their own and gives them some added support in what is a distressing time.
As winter approaches, she’s working tirelessly to collect around 700 pairs of winter PJs so no child goes to bed cold! Donations have been coming in from the local community but any extra help is always appreciated. You can visit the Foster Hope Northland Facebook page for more information on donating and showing your support.
As Debbie shows so much dedication to helping these children and never asks for anything in return, we thought we’d show our appreciation. Her other passion in life is horses and we’ve given Debbie two VIP passes to Equitana in Auckland, an event which is “centre of the horse world,” as well as three nights’ accommodation. We’ve also given a $5000 donation to the Foster Hope Northland Charitable Trust, to ensure the good work to support young people in foster care continues.