Tiffany Horton has always enjoyed giving back to her local community and this year she was the driving force behind record school fundraising for the Totara Hospice Sunrise Walk.
Thanks to efforts by the King’s College Year 13 student and her wider school group, they raised an incredible $5769 for Totara Hospice and supplied 100 volunteers and walkers for the popular event.
Tiffany has been part of the Totara Hospice Youth Ambassador programme for the past two years, following in her older sister’s footsteps and having been introduced to Totara Hospice by her mother, who had worked there.
Hospice is also part of the Community Service programme at King’s College, in which older students help local charities and organisations through volunteering and fundraising.
“I’ve always been really passionate about community service,” says Tiffany. “I find it so amazing to see the people that you’re helping. We’re in a position that we can help, so why not?”
Having taken part in last year’s Sunrise Walk, this year Tiffany focused on raising awareness of Hospice and its work to get volunteers and walkers signed up. “It was a lot of talking at assembly, and the school was really supportive and posted on its Facebook page too. It was about getting my friends behind it as well… once we had lots of people coming they could see it would end up being quite fun.”
Tiffany not only rallied the volunteers, she was also there early on the day to ensure they got to their various jobs as car parking attendants, VIP tent helpers, and track marshalls.
She says it was great to be part of the event. “You’re out with the community. It’s quite special seeing people walk in their t-shirts with family names on them – it was something a lot of King’s students hadn’t experienced before.”
The fundraising proved trickier, with King’s already supporting around 50 groups through its Community Service. “Hospice is quite a personal thing, so a lot of families who had been touched by Hospice all wanted to donate,” says Tiffany. “But a lot of young people don’t even know what Hospice is really, so it was about trying to put the message out.”
Tiffany set up a Givealittle page to make donating simple, rather than trying to collect paper forms and cash. “I think that was the key to our success this year. It just kicked off because it was so easy for kids to get behind – they could just post the Givealittle link to their Facebook page or send it to their parents.”
The final tally of an amazing $5,796.00 was the highest amount raised by any school in the 10-year history of the Totara Hospice Sunrise Walk. It’s a trend Tiffany is keen to see continue once she finishes at King’s this year and hopes to sign up more students as Youth Ambassadors for next year.
“Hospice is something I hadn’t even known existed, but it’s close to home for everyone,” says Tiffany. “Everyone’s family will likely be touched by it [hospice care] at some point. And it’s cool that we can help them out.”
To find out more about becoming a Youth Ambassador and Making Hospice Happen visit www.hospice.co.nz/youth-ambassadors
Picture: Totara Hospice Youth Ambassador Tiffany Horton at the Sunrise Walk 2019