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‘Tis the season for corporate niceness

Eighty thousand dollars might not make or break a corporate, but it’s a big deal if you’re trying to support a region’s youth. That’s the mission for Pete Allely, the manager of creative arts and youth development organisation Zeal in Hamilton.

Vodafone Foundation’s 11-year-old World of Difference programme funded his full-time salary and expenses for a year, one of 11 awards of $80,000 the foundation made this year.

Allely’s full-time involvement means Zeal can offer more workshops and events and make its Hamilton base sustainable, Vodafone says.

Allely says he saw a big gap when Hamilton’s only gig space for musicians of all ages closed in the early 2000s. “I realised how important creative expression had been to my development as a young person, how its absence had also affected me and that not much had changed for Hamilton’s young people.”

That spurred him to dream up Zeal Hamilton, where he’s now the manager.

Vodafone says 69 people have taken part in the World of Difference scheme so far — the programme supports Kiwis aged 12 to 24.

Vodafone’s one of many Kiwi corporates with a charitable arm that lends a hand to good causes.

Many of them have highlighted their efforts as the spirit of Christmas giving takes hold.

Rival telco Telecom says it has raised more money through givealittle.co.nz this past year than in the previous five years in total. The platform has paved the way for $3.4 million in donations to nearly 1500 recipients, a mix of charities and individuals, Telecom says.

Telecom bought the crowdfunding service last year from founder Nathalie Whitaker.

Telecom Foundation manager Lynne Le Gros says its investing about $800,000 a year in the platform. “Like many Kiwi businesses, Givealittle was a startup that had incredible potential and needed additional investment to help it move to the next stage. As with any online platform, there’s a need to keep improving the functionality and experience.”

Coca-Cola New Zealand, meanwhile, has launched a programme to get teens exercising to combat obesity. It’s arguably an ambulance at the top of a self-created cliff, but it’s goals are valuable.

The company aims to encourage 100,000 teens exercise for 60 minutes a day by 2020 and has partnered with Bike NZ, poster girl and BMX star Sarah Walker and the Foundation for Youth Development.

Move60 will be supported by a smartphone app, currently in development, that will offer bike-centric games, challenges, competitions and rewards. In partnership with the foundation, more than 400 bikes will be donated.

Coke is also making smaller and more low kilojoule drinks available and providing more nutritional information.

ASB has been extending its Facebook following with competitions Like Loan and Like Rewards and has celebrated that 104,000-strong community by donating to the Starship Foundation.

The bank says its number of Facebook likes is higher than that held by the other four major banks that operate in New Zealand. A post celebrating ASB’s likes attracted 28,450 likes, which ASB matched in dollars donated to Starship.

ASB has sponsored Starship for more than 20 years.

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