Tess Johnson has been donating to the Breast Cancer Foundation for many years, never thinking one day she would need the support from the foundation her self.

The Rotorua local was one of about 70 volunteers who were rattling a bucket for the foundation's Pink Ribbon Appeal yesterday and today.

Johnson, a registered nurse, had a personal reason why she spent her Friday morning collecting donations outside Countdown.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July last year and finished treatment eight months ago.

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Johnson said the Breast Cancer Foundation was "very generous" towards her while she was going through treatment.

"When I had to finish work they helped me with petrol and grocery vouchers, and I always had someone to have a coffee with and touch base," she said.

Johnson said she had been feeling better after her treatment and wanted to give back in a practical way.

She said collecting money for non-profit organisations was getting harder as not many people carried cash any more and we were turning into a "cashless society".

Johnson said the people of Rotorua were "very cheery" despite the weather conditions yesterday morning and she was grateful for the donations she collected.

Breast Cancer Foundation New Zealand chief executive Evangelia Henderson said the funds raised went towards research into new targeted treatments, medical equipment for hospitals, life-saving awareness and education programmes, and support for people going through breast cancer.

She said more than 70 people in Rotorua and Taupō were diagnosed with breast cancer each year and about 20 died of breast cancer each year.

About 9000 people volunteered across the country to help in the fight against the disease, Henderson said.

"Now we need Kiwis everywhere to drop a gold coin in the bucket – your gift helps us work towards our long term vision of zero deaths from breast cancer."

If you did not have loose change on the day you could text PINK to 4499 to make a $3 donation.

About the foundation:
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ is a not-for-profit organisation that depends on donations and fundraising for its work in breast cancer education and awareness, medical research and training grants, funding medical equipment, advocacy, and supporting women with breast cancer. The foundation's programmes are evidence-based, overseen by its medical advisory committee. The pink ribbon symbol is a trademark of Breast Cancer Foundation NZ in New Zealand.