Community Projects

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Ronald McDonald House 2Christchurch Students Save Children’s Charity $1000s on Electricity Bills!

A group of Christchurch university students have now realised their plan to save Ronald McDonald House South Island (RMHSI) $1000’s on their electricity bills over the next 25 years. Together, they fundraised $25,000 to install a solar grid tied system on the charity’s accommodation building with the support and assistance of local solar manufacturer, EnaSolar.

The project originated from the students involvement with the US Embassy-organized Connecting Young Leaders Conference in June. This year’s conference focused on social entrepreneurship, where the students were challenged to find and address an issue within their community. The team of 10 decided early on to support RMHSI and after much brainstorming, research and liaison with industry mentors settled on a cost-saving idea that utilised solar energy. The aim was to reduce RMHSI’s operational running costs to enable the savings to be put back into its core function of supporting families.The young leaders teamed up with EnaSolar, who were able to assist and guide on the commercial and technical aspects of the project, and created the ‘Gift that Keeps Giving’ concept to support their fundraising campaign. The unique ‘Gift that Keeps Giving’ concept enabled the students to gain sponsorship and funding to cover the cost of materials required for the supply and installation of the solar technology. It also enabled sponsors to see that their contribution to the solar system was not only going to benefit RMHSI for one day but each and every day for next 25 years! The crowd-funding campaign turned out to be a great success due to immense generosity shown from the local community, businesses, and individuals. Trevor Foster says, “We were delighted to support this project, not only for the cost savings that will assist RMHSI but also to support the Young Leaders vision and program.”Months of hard work, passion, and commitment was well-rewarded recently when the project was officially signed off by RMHSI CEO, Mr. Mathew Mark, Fund Raising Manager, Anna Galvan and EnaSolar General Manager, Trevor Foster. The students see the project as an opportunity for the community to invest back into itself, and they hope this creative approach and method will be replicated and used by other individuals, charities and schools throughout New Zealand.
Ronald McDonald House South Island provides free accommodation and support to families of sick children up to and including the age of 21. For more information please visit: www.rmhsi.org.nz