Cambridge florist and cafe owner Christine Edmeades has raised more than $102,000 for her community in 15 years, helped by the Cambridge branch of Business Network International.
The former primary-school teacher says working with children opened her eyes to the plight of families in need. "We all have times of need and we have to help each other. By being kind, kindness comes back to you," she says.
Edmeades has held charity children's art auctions for school camps, Bavarian-style beer festivals for epilepsy and autism fundraisers, medieval banquets for hospice and more recently a high tea and fashion day for the the Cancer Society's Lions Lodge.
"I know the ozone layer is disappearing but you can't do anything about that as an individual. It's about the immediate picture."
She says it is easier to tap into people from smaller communities and says the "feel-good factor" keeps her motivated. "I'd do the same if I lived in Auckland but communities in the city are more fragmented."