Otumoetai Intermediate students have raised $1700 for the city's homeless.

About 30 students made cakes, sushi, fried bread, toffee, fudge and other tasty treats to sell at a school Gala for Humanity and raise funds for Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust.

Room 17 teacher Rachel Wikeepa said the idea to host a gala came after a classroom humanity project called Nine Weeks of Kindness.

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Wikeepa said she had initially declined the children's offer to host a gala in the eighth week of term, but the children were persistent.

She said she had trouble asking children to bring back their signed school notices for a class trip to Waimarino let alone organise a gala of numerous food stalls.

"The next day they all brought in their notices I had been asking for all week to show how dedicated they were," Wikeepa said.

The teacher said she took news articles about homelessness to her classroom and donating back to the families in need was something the children wanted to do.

Two of her students had visited Brookfield New World with a sponsorship proposal for 200 donated sausages and a letter was written to the school principal for his permission.

"It was all run by them," Wikeepa said. "It was their way of giving back to the community."

Wikeepa said one of the popular stalls sold more than 600 churros.

"It was crazy the amount of work they put into it," she said. "One of them had their mums there early in the morning to roll sushi."


Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust executive director Tommy Wilson said he had visited the school earlier in the week to educate the children about homelessness in the city.

"I think sometimes people think they are streeties... but these are good mothers who just cannot find a place to stay," Wilson said.

He said it was important for children to learn what made people disconnected.

"They now understand how important it is to stay connected with their families, their church, their sports groups and their marae."

Wilson said 75 children would be sleeping happily with full pukus [tummies] tonight.