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$881,634 DISTRIBUTED TO COMMUNITIES IN 2020
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My giving journey.

In the early 2000s a family friend from Christchurch was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. While her husband was planning a final road trip around New Zealand together, he approached my wife and I to ask if they could stay in our beach house at Oakura Bay in Northland.

They had a lovely time there together, and later after her passing he let us know just how much that time together had meant to them.

This experience got me thinking, and in the mid 2000s I approached and met with Margaret Currie, who managed the Northland Cancer Society in Kamo, Whangarei to see if we could do this for other families in similar positions.

Together, we created a programme for donating a week-long holiday in our beach house for families with serious health challenges. She recommended we also build a relationship with North Haven Hospice and introduced me to them.

On 15 October 2007 we hosted our first person with a life-threatening illness and her family with exclusive free use of our holiday home.

Referred to us by Liz Carr, a counsellor from North Haven Hospice (since passed), Liz referred many more guests over the following years until her retirement due to her own poor health.

Before she passed, Liz told me about the value of the service to her work. "Being a counsellor, we receive a lot of gratitude back from patients from referring clients to your holiday home. This pumps us up when we’re feeling pretty stressed in what’s a difficult emotional job."

"Being able to go to stay at a fabulous bach for free with their families has given these people immeasurable opportunities to make memories when memory making time is short! The feedback from the patients and families has been 100 % positive, they all rave about the experience.”

In 2018 we welcomed the 50th family to step through our holiday home, and while I had a vision of rolling this service out nationally I had to put these plans on hold.

I recently discovered a charity called TimeOut, and after sharing my experiences and passion I was invited to join the board. Together with a diverse group of Aucklanders we are well on the way to achieving our vision of providing 300 families per year challenged with a terminal illness with a free time out holiday.

We continue to donate our holiday home to those with a terminal illness and have now helped over 55 families. This has been an experience that my family and I continue to enjoy as we get so much pleasure knowing that we have been of real help to so many families over the years at a time when they needed help the most.

Doug Hanna

Director at Terabyte Interactive, Doug has a sound background in and understanding of digital technologies across accounting, sales and marketing, e-commerce and customer engagement. A Trustee of Auckland Foundation since 2017, Doug also sits on the board of TimeOut Charitable Trust.

Auckland Foundation makes it easy for Aucklanders to support causes they care about. We'd love to connect with you and help your giving to be the most impactful it can be.

 

Photo of the Hannas at their family bach in Oakura Bay.