Molly Lee's dining room table is covered end-to-end with donated gifts from local businesses.

Also on the table is an old sewing machine, donated by nan, which the 13-year-old Havelock North Intermediate student uses to fashion draw-string goody bags out of CanTeen bandanas.

She has sewn about 50 of the bags so far, after a crash course in sewing from proud mum Debbie this term.

Ten Havelock North businesses have donated stationery, toys, books and other gifts to fill the bags, which will be given to cancer sufferers.


Debbie has been happy to act as a taxi as Molly has visited the businesses, introduced herself and the goody bags concept.

Molly said she was nervous at first, but now she's a natural and plans to expand the operation to Hastings and Napier.

The idea for the goody bags came about after a brain storming session at CanTeen Hawke's Bay.

Molly said the bags were a good way to lift the spirits of young cancer sufferers.

"It just lets them know we're thinking about them."

Her project is part of Havelock North High School's Beyond Honours programme, which is reserved for four year-eight students who received Honors Badges last year.

The bags have been distributed to all class rooms at Havelock North Intermediate - black bags for boys and pink bags for girls.

Students can take them home and fill them up with gifts of their choosing.

Molly has until the end of the term to get as many donations as she can.

In the meantime, parents Debbie and Todd and younger sister Greer might need to find somewhere else to eat their dinner.

If you are a business who would like to donate, please email: