More Top Stories

Rugby Union

Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Giving Tree initiative brings smiles to kids

Friday 31 December 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Economy, National


Giving Tree initiative brings smiles to kids
The KPMG team with their bundle of gifts for The Giving Tree. 21123004

The Bank of South Pacific (BSP) Cook Islands branch had one of its most successful years yet with their annual Christmas Giving Tree initiative. Over 640 gifts successfully made it into the hands of children across the 12 islands.

The islands of Penrhyn, Manihiki, Rakahanga, Palmerston, Mauke, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mangaia, Aitutaki, Rarotonga, Pukapuka, and Nassau all received presents, with all but one of the islands receiving their gifts right in time for Christmas day.

The BSP Giving Tree is an annual tradition which dates back over 13 years. In partnership with the Ministry of Internal affairs they have been able to deliver presents over the year to less fortunate children in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.

David Street, country head of BSP, said: “The Giving Tree is something we have continued to carry forward. The main aim is to make sure we put a smile on the less unfortunate children who may not get a present on Christmas and that’s what drives us. We are so pleased to provide the children a gift bringing a big smile to their face for Christmas.”

MFEM who contributed to The Giving Tree this year. 21123005

The community support has been amazing, says Street. Support businesses adopted different islands and their staff purchased gifts. CITC and Mareko kindly provided discounts on purchases and Taio Shipping provided subsidised transportation to many of the outer islands.

“We are extremely thankful for the generous support of the community and look forward to continuing the initiative in 2022,” said Street.

Logistically it has always been a big challenge to collect and ensure all gifts are dispatched in time for Christmas. A total of 12 islands out of 15 were covered in 2021 and BSP was able to ensure all but one island received their gifts before Christmas day which was an excellent outcome.

Planning by staff starts in August each year, with many fundraisers along the way including sausage sizzles.

The team at CITC with big smiles for Christmas. 21123006

Street said: “The staff cannot do it alone and so generous community support and assistance from business partners is always called on and appreciated.”

He extended a big meitaki both to the members of the community who purchased gifts and the support businesses. Support businesses this year included Taio Shipping, Avarua Bakery, CITC, Mareko, Federal Pacific Insurance, and Cook Islands Building Supplies.

Staff from following businesses and agencies assisted with the presents: Prime Foods, Treasury Management Division (MFEM), MMR, Tangata Family, TEM Store, ANZ Bank, Asiaciti, Tower Insurance, Pacific Resort, Vodafone, LMPC, MFEM and KPMG.

Island representatives from each island confirmed that the gifts had all been received with photos of smiling children slowly filtering in.

“This is probably the best year we’ve done with the giving tree. It continues to improve year on year. We’ll be back again in 2022 and looking forward to continuing on,” Street said.