Essential workers spring into action for Cancer Society

While September marks the start of spring for Kiwis, the nationwide lockdown put many seasonal traditions on hold, including not being able to grab a bunch of spring flowers, and more significantly the cancellation of this years’ Cancer Society Daffodil Day street collection.

Determined not to let the joys of spring pass them by, the team at Countdown Rototuna in Hamilton quickly swung into action, coming up with a novel idea for a small local fundraiser which was so good Countdown has decided to adopt it nationwide to raise funds for the Cancer Society over the weekend.

“We usually have the Cancer Society sell fresh daffodils this time of year outside our store to support Daffodil Day in the Waikato, but with lockdown they couldn’t do it this year,” says Robbie Smith, ‘campaign creator’ and Customer Service Manager at Rototuna Countdown.

“So we said we’d like our store team to dress up in their brightest yellow or floral gear during their shift, and do a small local fundraiser in the store for the Cancer Society instead. We thought it would bring a smile to people’s faces while doing some good, and the idea caught on and has just grown from there with all Countdown teams across the country also now encouraged to wear their yellow and bright colours this coming weekend,” he says.

As well as brightly-coutured team members, for three days this weekend (Friday, 3 September to Sunday, 5 September) Countdown stores across New Zealand will be offering a ‘Round Up’ option at checkout where customers can round up their transaction to the nearest $1 and the difference will be donated to the Cancer Society.

“It’s 100 per cent voluntary, and customers can of course also donate more if they want to. We'll also be donating $100,000 from Countdown to kick things off, which we hope will go some way in helping with the fundraising shortfall the Cancer Society is facing this year,” says Kiri Hannifin Countdown’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability.

Lucy Elwood, Cancer Society of New Zealand CEO said having to cancel Daffodil Day around the country was a significant blow to their fundraising calendar.

“Our street appeal typically raises around $1 million and helps fund essential support services like transport to treatment, counselling, and accommodation for those affected by cancer. With the cancellation of the street appeal, we have been heartened by those New Zealanders who have supported us online and we are incredibly thankful to Countdown for putting this initiative together during what is an invariably busy time for their business.” she said.

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