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Generosity helps those in need to stay super warm.

Far too many Kiwi households struggle to stay warm and dry each winter.

Approximately 1,600 deaths each winter are attributed to damp, cold houses, with children and the elderly particularly vulnerable. And a Salvation Army survey last year found that 45 percent of those asked didn’t put on any heating due to the cost, while 10 percent used their oven or stove to keep warm.

The government’s Winter Energy Payment, which was introduced last year, aims to help low-income earners and superannuitants with the cost of energy bills over winter.

With some superannuitants already fortunate to be living in a warm, well-insulated house, Auckland Foundation asked those who could afford to, to donate their additional Winter Energy Payment to a specially-established Super Warm Fund.

By working with The Salvation Army, these donations were directed to those identified as being most in need of some help to stay warm.

Thanks to the generosity of donors from across the country, 56 individuals and families received help with their heating costs.

Community Ministries Programme Coordinator Jodi Hoare says that the demand for The Salvation Army’s services during winter is often compounded by increasing electricity costs.

"With living costs continuing to rise, it is very difficult for many people to manage over winter. Many of our clients are struggling to keep up with current expenses, while others who come to us are in arrears."

"For example, one elderly client was not only having trouble paying his power, but was dealing with residents at his property who refused to contribute towards costs or move out. He ran out of money and despite being in his 70s was working to pay the bills. To add to his financial difficulties, his wife is in an aged care facility."

"We assisted the client to get his finances sorted, to get the unwelcome tenants moved on, to pay the power bill, and look for a smaller property where he could afford the upkeep and look after himself."

"The Super Warm Fund has been very empowering for many, by helping to support people and families in crisis with their electricity costs. Thank you for this financial support which has made a significant, positive difference to New Zealanders' lives."

Auckland Foundation is once again asking generous superannuitants to support the Super Warm Fund. All donations will be distributed to initiatives that are keeping the most vulnerable in our communities warm this winter.

Make a donation.


Photo supplied by The Salvation Army.