Hospices throughout the country have once again been overwhelmed and humbled by the support received from Farmers stores and their customers in the lead-up to Christmas. More than $759,000 was donated, taking the total raised over the last six years to more than $4.2 million, a major contribution towards ensuring that hospice services remain free of cost to those who need them.
Hospice NZ CEO Mary Schumacher said one of the unique elements of the annual appeal was that every dollar raised remained within the community in which it was given.
The 2019 bauble produced by Farmers exclusively for Hospice was once again in high demand, she said.
"Almost 15,000 of the hand-painted collectable baubles, Ngaru, designed by Spencer Bellas, were sold, contributing a significant sum to the final total.
"Farmers have recognised that their staff and customers really want to support people in their own communities who are living with a life-limiting condition," she added.
"Because of this focus, people know their donations stay local, and will mean their community's hospice is there free of charge for anyone who needs support. For the people of the Far North, the $6291.68 raised will enable Far North Community Hospice to replace aging loan equipment such as electric beds and mattresses."
Kaitaia Hospice operations manager Davina Reed said the team at Farmers had not only embraced raising funds for the organisation, but also served as ambassadors, helping the community better understand the work it was doing.
"The awareness-raising that comes from being involved with Farmers is invaluable. The enthusiasm and commitment from all staff and the people of the Far North has contributed to this amazing result. Thank you so much," she said.
Ms Schumacher added that the organisation could not thank Farmers and their customers enough for their generosity.
"To once again raise more than three-quarters of a million dollars is incredible," she said.
"I witnessed first-hand the depth of engagement between hospice and the Farmers team. They are working so hard to raise not only funds but also awareness of the work we do. This has huge value also."
Farmers' chief financial officer, Michael Power, said the company was extremely proud of the amount raised.
"Farmers has been at the heart of New Zealand communities for 110, and we are delighted to make a positive difference in our communities through our long-standing relationship with Hospice," he said.