Paris is an East Auckland boy whose mum couldn't afford a winter uniform, but Kiwi Kid sponsorship, which works in a similar way to the dollar-a-day schemes run for children in developing countries, means he won't be going to school freezing.
The sponsorship programme is run by Variety - The Children's Charity. Donations starting at $35 a month ensure a child's basic needs are being met - warm clothing, doctors' visits and school costs are some of the items funded.
The Year Seven student will be cooking at a Variety fundraiser for the programme on August 2 where three chefs from SkyCity - Nic Watt, Paul Jobin and Sean Connolly - will be serving a three-course meal for 500.
His mum Cathy watched last week as he met Mr Watt for the first time and returned the sponsorship favour by cooking him a pizza. She has two other boys at the same school and said the sponsorship had helped her buy winter uniform trackpants and send Paris off to camp. They were things she had no way of paying for.
"It's an amazing programme, it allows Paris to fit in. I'm a mum and dad to my boys. For me sponsors are heroes without capes, selfless people - they're helping a child that they don't even know. It's a big thing."
Levelling the playing field for children living in poverty is the aim of the programme, Variety chief executive Lorraine Taylor believes. She said while children in New Zealand may not have problems such as accessing clean running water or education as a basic human right, they face a type of poverty that denies them the ability to be kids during their childhood.
More information on fundraiser www.varietyofchefs.org.nz