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The Shortbread Trust: Cycling For Those In Need

The Shortbread Trust: Cycling For Those In Need

Jimmy Griffith is a man on a mission.


On Saturday 1 March he sets off on a 2800 kilometre charity cycle ride around the South Island to raise awareness, and donations, for The Shortbread Trust and ShelterBox.


Jimmy used to be a commercial fisherman, and while he had a pretty good life he says he knew plenty of people were really struggling.


“I went to see a lawyer about donating my property to a charity once I died,” he says. “However, he advised me to do something now and not wait until I am dead.”


Jimmy became involved in a charitable trust that helped fund a school in Nepal, and it was during a visit in 2010 that he came across a woman breaking stones.


“She was breaking bags of rocks for a dollar a day, and she was sick, so we gave her some medicine,” he says. “It was very emotional; she shed tears of appreciation that someone had given her a helping hand.”


Following that trip, Jimmy set up The Shortbread Trust to help relieve poverty in third-world countries. He began selling shortbread biscuits for 50 cents each at Shortbread Cottage Backpackers and other outlets around Nelson.


“Two pieces of shortbread gives me one dollar, the same as the woman breaking stones in Nepal earns,” Jimmy says “but that dollar goes a long way overseas and can make a real difference to someone’s life.”


Not content with just making shortbread, the Trust is also supporting the work of ShelterBox, an organization that provides emergency shelter around the world for people affected by humanitarian and natural disasters.


As Jimmy cycles through around fifty South Island small towns and cities he will be towing a ShelterBox, although to reduce weight this one will be empty.


“Each ShelterBox costs $1500 so I came up with the idea of one dollar magic,” Jimmy says. “The idea being that finding one person to give you a million dollars would be hard, but imagine if you had a million people giving one dollar a month? The magic in that dollar would be huge to someone with no home, food or fresh water.”


Jimmy has had great support so far, including from Kimi Ora in Kaiteriteri, from the makers of 3B sandfly and mossie repellent, which he says will be useful on the West Coast, and R & R Sport, which is providing his gear. Anyone donating $1500 will be able to advertise on the box.


The first leg of Jimmy’s journey is Nelson to Pelorus. He is leaving from R & R Sport, Rutherford Street at 10.30am on Saturday 1 March.

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