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Paying It Forward; More Than Just A Heart-Warming Gesture

New Zealand cricketing legend, Stephen Boock, has stepped up to the crease to help those in need this winter. Boock has created the ‘Pay It Forward’ initiative in which superannuants already living a comfortable retirement are encouraged to donate their Winter Energy Payment to charity to provide vital assistance to those suffering from brain cancer.

Boock is a Trustee of the White Matter Brain Cancer Charitable Trust and an advocate for supporting those currently experiencing hardship. The idea of paying forward the government grant came about during a bike ride with Boock’s cycling network, all of whom are over 65 and who were each planning to opt out of receiving the funds.

During the winter months, New Zealand retirees receive a total of $1,400 per couple or $900 for an individual from Work and Income to help with the cost of keeping their homes warm. Recipients are not means tested but are given the opportunity to opt out if they do not require the additional funding.

Boock saw an opening for this money to be redirected to charity rather than returned to the government funding pool and his fellow cyclists agreed that they would be happier to see the funds donated to a worthy cause.

The ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign was created to allow those in a position to do so, to make a donation of the equivalent amount of their grant to the White Matter Brain Cancer Charitable Trust. The funds will be used to help alleviate stress within families and enhance the quality of life of brain cancer patients by providing financial assistance and winter warmth.

“I’m in a fortunate position that I am able to pay forward my Winter Energy Payments and, after speaking to friends, it become clear that others wanted to pay it forward too” said Boock. “We hope that other New Zealanders over 65 will join us by giving back to those who need it. As a Trustee, I have experienced first-hand the difference this support makes to families throughout the country who are coping with brain cancer.”

The generosity of his friends may have bowled him over, but Boock is determined to help as many families as possible by providing winter warmth and making a real difference to Kiwi’s who need it most and he urges those in a position to do so, to ‘Pay It Forward’ by visiting www.payitforward.nz

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