Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


SVA Hits 3,000 Deliveries

Having now completed more than 3,000 grocery deliveries over the COVID pandemic, the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) is looking for a little extra support from those who are able to give this holiday season.

“Two years ago, we did not expect to become a grocery delivery organisation, but that’s what SVA does,” says co-founder and CEO Sam Johnson. “When normal services are overwhelmed by extraordinary circumstances, SVA helps mobilise the community to make sure that nobody gets left behind. People want to help, and thanks to the support of donors we’re able to provide a structure to make it easy for them to do that.”

With the country now heading into the traffic light system, SVA is pausing their online delivery service and preparing to put it back into action in the new year should they be required to do so. “We intend to stick around and to be ready to respond to whatever crisis comes next. It’s only thanks to the support of the community that we are able to do that,” says Johnson.

As well as providing a Grocery Delivery Service, SVA has also mobilised people in Christchurch to volunteer at their local vaccine clinics. Teaming up with the Canterbury District Health Board, SVA has now provided volunteers for over 1,000 volunteer shifts around Canterbury, freeing up medical professionals to vaccinate more people more efficiently.

Their work also continues in primary schools and secondary schools across the country with SVA Kids and the SVA Service Award, teaching young people how to volunteer and rewarding them for their hours of service to the community. The programme’s mission is to make sure that there is a sustainable future of volunteering in Aotearoa. SVA clubs are also active at six tertiary institutions across the country.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Those who wish to support the organisation either through a regular personal donation or by making a contribution on behalf of their employees this Christmas are able to do so by visiting Those who wish to be kept updated about opportunities to volunteer are welcome to download the SVA App.



About the SVA Foundation

On the 22nd of February 2011, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated Christchurch. During the following month, 11,000 students volunteered 75,000 hours cleaning up liquefaction silt across the city. They were known as the Student Volunteer Army, and the SVA Foundation is their legacy. Today, the SVA Foundation, lead by Sam Johnson, administers programmes aimed at developing a volunteering culture in New Zealand’s young people.

About Sam Johnson

Sam became a household name in New Zealand when he founded what has become New Zealand’s largest volunteer movement, the Student Volunteer Army. What started as a small social media page after the devastating Christchurch earthquakes has been mirrored across the globe. Sam’s work in social enterprise is on the leading edge of using the collective to overcome the bureaucratic - shifting our belief system about what is possible when teams, organisations and communities authentically connect and build empathy.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.