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Generous Kiwi legacies lifting lives in the Pacific

Generous Kiwi legacies lifting lives in the Pacific

Oxfam New Zealand has received gifts of over $200,000 in the last year from generous Kiwis who have left money in their wills to support poverty reduction programmes in the Pacific.

Vera Metcalfe* gifted $43,000 in her will instructing Oxfam to use the money to help lift people out of poverty in the Pacific.

Rachael Le Mesurier, Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand said: “We were saddened to hear of Mrs Metcalfe’s passing, but also delighted that we are able to honour her wishes and ensure that her values and beliefs live on through our work. Outside the tourist resorts, people really struggle to make a living in many parts of the Pacific. Because of Vera’s generosity, vulnerable people will have access to their basic human rights – clean water, nutritious food, a safe place to live, access to jobs and education, and a voice in the decisions that affect them. This is a legacy that will live on for generations to come.”

This bequest is one of many left by kind-hearted, every day Kiwis in their wills and is being highlighted as part of Include a Charity Week, 6th September – 12th September, a campaign aimed at encouraging more people to include gifts in their wills to their favourite charities, after they have looked after family and friends.

“The reality is that most bequests are made by ordinary, hardworking Kiwis. People who want to make a real difference to their community and other people's lives after they've gone. It’s incredibly humbling,” said Le Mesurier.

Auckland grandmother and retired primary school teacher Diana Rutherford has been an Oxfam supporter since the 1970’s and is leaving a bequest in her will to help tackle poverty in the Pacific through Oxfam.

“I wake up every single day and think how lucky I am with my life here in New Zealand,” she said. “I love my garden, I have enough food to eat, I can afford a warm house. Empowering people is the most important thing anyone can do.

“I support Oxfam because I love the way they are about offering a hand up; giving people the education, skills and support to improve their situation. I’ve always believed in finding the light in all people and helping them to be the best they can be,” she said.

“It’s important for me to focus on what I can do and find the right balance. Leaving a bequest to Oxfam is something I know will make a lasting difference for people living in poverty and it’s something that fits in with what I can do right now.

Hannah Davies, Relationship Fundraising Manager at Oxfam New Zealand said: “Bequests are becoming more popular because they are a way to ensure that your beliefs, values and hopes for future generations can continue beyond your lifetime. It’s a great opportunity to support causes close to your heart without impacting your current financial situation.

“We couldn’t be more grateful, or humbled by the generosity of Kiwis like Mrs Metcalfe and Ms Rutherford who leave money in their wills to Oxfam. Because of gifts like these, people living in poverty in the Pacific are given the opportunity to lift their lives, for good. I don’t think there’s a better legacy to leave,” said Davies.


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