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New York alumni helping the homeless


A group of ex-pat kiwis spent an afternoon feeding New York’s homeless and working poor as part of an international volunteer drive led by the University of Auckland last month.

The University’s New York alumni chapter gathered at a community centre in the Bronx during Volunteer Impact Week.

Six alumni who are making their careers in New York served up more than 300 plates of food at the POTS (part of the solution) community center on 22 June.

Worldwide more than 500 University of Auckland graduates, students and staff participated in Volunteer Impact Week with events held as far afield as Beijing, London, Vancouver and Madagascar.

Vivien Zhang, a fashion merchandiser based in New York City, said it was a great opportunity to give back to their adopted community and to meet fellow kiwis living in the same city.

“I think as kiwis, giving back is part of our mind-set so it makes sense that ex-pats would get together to make a difference when we are abroad. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to network with other New Zealanders,” she says.

James Hosking, who practices law in New York, says: “We’re all a long way from Auckland and for most of us it’s been a long time since we were students, but the day spent volunteering at POTS reminded us about our shared heritage and helped to foster a sense of community. At the same time, we were able to help out neighbours in our adopted city in a very immediate and tangible way.”

Alumni Relations Manager Joel Terwilliger says the inaugural Volunteer Impact Week was a global celebration of giving back which utilised the talent, skills and altruistic nature of the University of Auckland community.



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