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KidsCan named Official Charity of The All Blacks

Media Release
Embargo: Noon 26/6/08

KidsCan named Official Charity of The All Blacks at milestone event

The KidsCan Charitable Trust is honoured to have been selected by the NZRU as the new official charity of the All Blacks.

The three year partnership is a tremendous boost to the organisation which helps disadvantaged New Zealand children in low decile schools through programmes such as Raincoats for Kids, Food for Kids and Shoes for Kids.

KidsCan was founded nearly 3 years ago by Julie Helson and Carl Sunderland who were concerned by high levels of child poverty in New Zealand. Consultation with 90 low decile schools about the most pressing needs for children revealed that wet weather gear and sufficient food to get through the day topped the list.

General Manager, Julie Helson says “The association with the All Blacks will raise the profile of KidsCan so that more New Zealanders are aware of how significant the issue of child poverty has become. There are thousands of kiwi kids going to school cold and hungry through no fault of their own and this has a major impact on their ability to learn. Together we will make a difference for all these kids in our own backyard.”

The partnership will be officially launched at Robertson Road Primary School, Mangere on 26th June at 10.15am. Every single child at the school will receive a free All Blacks branded adidas raincoat, courtesy of Warehouse Stationery.

The announcement of the All Blacks Official Charity status coincides with the distribution of the 20,000th raincoat in the KidsCan Raincoats for Kids programme which was launched almost 2 years to the day by Patrons Ali Williams and Doug Howlett and along with some help from Jo Rokocoko.

Raincoats for Kids was designed to provide waterproof jackets to financially disadvantaged children to keep them warm and dry in winter. It has already proved to be a huge success with schools reporting higher levels of attendance, increased self esteem and academic improvements amongst the children as a result.

Research last year by Professor Mike O’Brien from Massey University’s School of Social and Cultural Studies noted how the All Blacks logo played an important part in the success of the Raincoats for Kids programme with some children wearing the jackets every day and all day and listing them as their most prized possession.

The jackets are distributed to more than 70 low decile schools throughout New Zealand. More than 80 schools are currently on the waiting list to receive KidsCan assistance.

As well as providing 7,000 pairs of shoes, KidsCan also provides 240,000 food items a year to low decile schools.

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