Most of us have a whole lot of great Christmas memories to draw on, often involving wonderful outdoor adventures. But many Kiwi kids grow up not knowing a happy or safe Christmas, ever. Sadly, Christmas is a time when domestic violence spikes dramatically in New Zealand, and many women and children will be at risk this holiday season because of it.
Wellington Women's Refuge is among refuges across the country doing an amazing job, with very little resourcing, to make sure as many women as they can help are safe at Christmas. One of the awesome things they've told us about is the counselling they fund - a critical support for women to recover from the legacy of abuse. But services are stretched further at Christmas with more families in unsafe situations - last year, 6,000 women and children throughout New Zealand requested help from the Police during the holidays.
Dave Woulfe, who owns the outdoors businesses involved in Everyone's Adventure, came up with the idea of free gear hire because he wanted to give families a go at the kind of Kiwi summer so many of us grew up taking for granted. For us, $15 for kayak hire or $30 for a scenic spin on a bike is a nice treat; for many families, it's out of reach. Those are the kinds of Wellingtonians we wanted to extend the gift of free gear hire to, once our operating costs are covered.
But at this time, just before Christmas, it's time to take stock and recognise that for some families, even safety at Christmas is an uncertain possibility. So even though it will mean it takes us slightly longer to reach the Everyone's Adventure free gear hire goal, we're okay with that, because we want to also support Wellington Women's Refuge while they support Wellington women and families.
Between now and Christmas, when you buy an adventure or a voucher from our site using the code WOMENSREFUGE, we'll give half the money to Wellington Women's Refuge. So if you want to make a booking for kayak, bike or stand up paddleboard fun later in summer, do it now and we'll give half away. If you've still got Christmas pressies to buy, or you don't yet know what date you want to come and have an adventure with us, buy a gift voucher for you or a recipient to redeem later. You (or the recipient) will still get the awesome adventure you paid for, half of the money will go towards our “free gear hire by the end of summer” goal, and half will go to Women's Refuge. We'll let you know how much we end up donating!
Everyone's Adventure still plans to make gear hire free as soon as our businesses' $300K operating costs are covered. We'll get there - and you're still helping. But we wanted to take a moment right now to contribute to those helping out our most vulnerable women and their whanau at Christmas.
Use the code WOMENSREFUGE on our site to give. All spending until 11:59 p.m. on December 24th 2016 counts. Thanks so much to Wellington Women's Refuge for agreeing to partner with us on this fundraiser.