She may only be 12, but Whangārei's Jessica Liu is using her musical talents to help her community.

The Year 8 student has been donating funds raised from busking at the Whangārei Growers Markets to local charities.

She started busking last year and made her first donation of $393.10 last December to the Whangārei SPCA.

Since last Christmas she has been raising money for North Haven Hops ice and has made three donations to the organisation, totalling $872.30 over the past year.


Liu said she was at the markets most Saturday, and occasionally it was not money people generously donated.

"I've received avocados as well," Liu said.

Jessica Liu plays classical guitar at the Whangārei Growers Markets most weekends. Photo / Supplied
Jessica Liu plays classical guitar at the Whangārei Growers Markets most weekends. Photo / Supplied

She said she really liked busking.

"It's the look on people's faces that they make when they walk past, seeing the smiles on people's faces."

The Kamo Intermediate School student said she had donated all the money she had raised, except for two small amounts she used for a school trip to Vanuatu and to give to her family.

"I was kind of inspired last year. A few girls from my class, they went with our teacher to donate chocolate to hospice. That gave me an idea and I just decided to play."

Liu has been playing piano since the age of 7 and classical guitar since she was 8. The talented player won a recent guitar competition.

She said she practised every day for one to two hours. Since playing at the markets she has been recognised as "busking girl" a few times.


Not only does Liu donate her busking funds to the hospice, but from time to time she volunteers there too, playing her music to the patients.

"Every time I donate money or play for them I hop in the car and tell my mum I feel so happy."

Liu's actions are being noticed by those around her.

"I think I've inspired one of my friends, she wants to go and volunteer as well," she said.

Liu said she first donated to the SPCA because her family had two cats and two dogs.

She lives in Tikipunga with her family, and decided after that she would help North Haven Hospice as they are in her community.

It's evident Liu likes to help people. She sees music as her hobby and hopes to be a psychiatrist when she grows up.