Hilary Price had an epiphany 15 years ago which has since transformed her life - and the lives of hundreds of others.
Price had been considering whether to open a centre to offer foster care in Tauranga and prayed for a sign to help guide her.
That same day, Price came home to a handwritten letter from a former resident of a children's shelter she set up in her native South Africa more than 10 years prior.
"She wanted to say 'thank you' for giving her hope when they had none," Price said.
"It was like a lightning bolt down my spine."
That moment was the beginning of Homes of Hope Charitable Trust - a response to children in need of care and protection due to neglect or abuse. This year, it celebrates its 15th birthday.
Price said she still remembered knocking on the door of their very first house, which they still operate from today, to see whether the family inside would sell to them. Since then, it had been constant fundraising, expanding and "steep learning curves".
Looking back on how far the charity had come, Price said she would not change it for the world.
"I can't even comprehend it really, when I see [children who have grown up] working and doing well, I think it's a miracle. It's joyful. It's gone very quickly."
Nearly 250 children have come through Homes of Hope's door since it opened its first home on June 29, 2003. The charity now offers up to 16 places at any one time at its Tauranga site and up to 24 with satellite sites around the Bay of Plenty.
Currently, the charity is caring for 13.
Homes of Hope is modelled on Christian values and aims to offer a difference from a residential institution or a nuclear family model. Rather it offered a collective, holistic approach to the care of its children, Price said.
She credited its survival, and success, to the kindness of philanthropic organisations and community volunteers.
"It's just like this beautiful jigsaw pieces that come together and create hope for the children. It's something for the city to celebrate."
Price had dreams of transforming an old garage at one of its sites into a facility for child counselling through child-centred play therapy, something she said had researched and believed had incredible results.
"One of the critical things, I think, is remembering to listen to the voice of the children. But particularly for these children who have come from situations where they have had a lack of control and been put in strange situations."
Price admitted the pressures of some days could be "nightmarish" but it was her Christian faith, and the results she saw in the children which pulls her though. That, and the letter that started it all which she keeps in her office.
Children in care come full circle
When Steve* first encountered Homes of Hope, "it was definitely a shock".
The bewildered teenager had been placed in the charity's care.
"When the police come and get you, you don't know what's happening. It's really traumatic after you get told why you're there."
Fast-forward nearly 10 years and Steve is back at Homes of Home - this time, as a caregiver.
Steve spent about six months at Homes of Hope before eventually reuniting with his family.
"It's hard because everyone notices the change that's happened and you know it's better but ... you're not with your parents."
Steve got a job in Tauranga after leaving school before bumping into Homes of Hope chief executive Hilary Price, who remembered him and offered him a job.
"I always wanted to come back, to help in some way," he said.
Things have come full circle.
"I'm just letting kids be kids but also giving them the boundaries so they can grow up safe," he said.
"It doesn't feel like an organisation. It feels like family. I know some of these people from before when I was here, and everyone is here for you."
Lucy* was about 9 when she arrived at Homes of Hope.
Like Steve, she is now an adult and works at the charity as a caregiver. It is part of her journey to become a social worker.
"Homes of Hope has made me who I am today. When I was living here, seeing volunteers and other people come in and take the time out of their day for us kids is what inspired me to leave with the focus of coming back to give what was given to me."
Lucy said it was special being back, knowing first-hand the positive impact a caregiver could have.
"Without them, I would have felt so alone, but I felt safe as soon as I came in here," she said.
*Names have been changed to protect identities.