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Drug Supplier Donates $16,000

Drug Supplier Donates $16,000 In The Spirit Of Christmas


Pharmacists throughout New Zealand are indirectly helping troubled teenagers and battered women this Christmas. They are right behind the decision of their major pharmaceutical wholesaler Zuellig Pharma, to donate $16,000 to worthy causes, instead of giving each of its pharmacy customers a Christmas gift.

The company has announced donations of $8000 to Project K and another $8000 to the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges.

“We’ve been delighted by the supportive comments we’ve received from our pharmacy customers about this decision,” said Zuellig Pharma chief executive Peter Merton. “Donations like this can make a real difference, and anything the business community can do to help young people and families remain positive reflects on society as a whole. We want the ambulance to be at the top of the cliff, not the bottom.”

Project K, founded by New Zealand adventurer Graeme Dingle, and Joanne Wilkinson, is a charitable trust. Fourth formers selected on the basis of low self esteem take part in a three-week wilderness adventure, followed by a project helping people in the community, and 12 months working with a mentor who encourages them to set and achieve goals.

With more than 400 students already through the programme there are some real success stories. “There are plenty I could quote, but right now I’m particularly proud of Jessica Folster who has been named head girl of Auckland’s Glenfield College for 2002,” said Project K chief operating officer, Judith Hutchinson.

Jessica had been suffering from “geek syndrome” — negative peer pressure from her classmates to not put any real effort into her schoolwork. After Judith, who is also one of the programme’s mentors, helped Jessica set goals and regain her confidence, her English marks increased dramatically, she won the Project K Governor General’s Outstanding Student Award 2000, and recently was named head girl.

“Once you tell kids they can do anything, and help them set goals, they start to believe it,” said Judith Hutchinson.

The other organisation to receive $8000, the Women’s Refuge, reaches peak workload over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“This is a time when families are in close contact, and these situations can lead to violence,” said refuge spokesperson Beverley Braybrook. “The women may decide to do something about their circumstances in the New Year, and that’s when they seek our help.”

The collective operates 51 refuges throughout New Zealand.

Ends

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