An Auckland man was so inspired by a toy ambulance fundraising campaign, he donated a fully functioning ambulance and rapid response vehicle to St John.

George Chan and his wife Laura donated the vehicles to the St John headquarters in Mt Wellington yesterday. The vehicles will be used in Auckland and areas north of the city.

More than 23,000 $15 toy ambulances were sold online and in ASB branches throughout the country to raise awareness of St John's growing need for ambulances.The funds were used to buy an ambulance for Canterbury.

Mr Chan thought instead of buying a toy ambulance, he would buy an ambulance and rapid response vehicle.


He dedicated the vehicles to his late father Hon Yin Chan, who he said taught him to always try to help those in need.

The ambulance and rapid response vehicle donated to St John by Auckland man George Chan.
The ambulance and rapid response vehicle donated to St John by Auckland man George Chan.

"St John is there for us as New Zealanders for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

"It costs a lot of money to keep these vehicles on the road, and they are very important to help save Kiwis' lives.

"[My father] taught me that when you help people, you shouldn't expect anything in return -- you should help people regardless of where, who and what they are."

Mr Chan said he liked to help friends, family and strangers. "To me, this is the joy of giving."

St John northern region general manager Gwen Green said the ambulance would save many lives.

"The new ambulance and rapid response vehicles are unexpected outcomes of the strong partnership between St John and ASB, a unique and successful campaign called toy ambulance, and an ASB client with a big heart."

ASB sponsorship manager Shelley Dunmore said she was thrilled by Mr Chan's generous donation.

"ASB has a longstanding relationship with St John and it has been great to see our customers, including Mr Chan, really get behind and support St John."

The Chans were given an ASB toy ambulance to give to their grandson.