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KidsCan Charitable Trust
FounderJulie Chapman (nee Helson)
TypeCharitable trust
Area served
New Zealand
MethodDelivering targeted programmes which remove the physical barriers preventing children in low decile schools from getting the most out of their education.
Key people
Julie Chapman: Founder and CEO. Bill Birnie, Chairman of the Board.
NZ$4.9 million (year ended December 2012)

The KidsCan Charitable Trust (trading as KidsCan) is a charitable trust. Founded in 2005 in Greenhithe, Auckland, New Zealand by Julie Chapman, it works to help New Zealand kids living in poverty (defined as living at 60% or less of the median wage, or one in four New Zealand children) through a variety of programmes (In Our Own Backyard, Food for Kids, Shoes for Kids, Raincoats for Kids, Warm Kids Cool Kids and Health for Kids). They provide food, socks, shoes and raincoats to over 46,000 disadvantaged children.[1]

The Child Poverty Monitor is a partnership between the New Zealand Children's Commissioner, the JR McKenzie Trust and the University of Otago who measures and reports on New Zealand child poverty annually.[2] According to them, 265,000 kids live in poverty in New Zealand.[3] 17% of New Zealand kids live in material hardship (where at least six out of sixteen predefined items and services like fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, a good bed, ways to keep warm, electricity bills etc. are not affordable)[4] while 3 out of 5 kids already living in poverty have lived like that (with their income under the poverty line) for seven years or more.[5]

KidsCan was founded with a NZ$40,000 grant from Guardian Trust. It now supports over 40,000 kids in nearly 300 New Zealand low-decile schools in 14 regions nationwide with:

- Food for Kids, providing nutritious and targeted food for 10,585 financially disadvantaged children across New Zealand every school day, either as a complete meal or to supplement what they have at home.[6] 2.6 million items of food were provided for children with food insecurity in 2012. [1][7]

- Shoes for Kids, providing a free pair of shoes and two pairs of socks for children coming to school in winter without footwear or with footwear that is in bad condition. Over 8,000 pairs of shoes and 16,000 pairs of socks were distributed in 2012.[1][8]

- Raincoats for Kids, providing free fleece-lined, waterproof raincoats for kids whose families, struggling to make ends meet, often relegate as a lower-priority item.[9] Schools recycle the raincoats every year and KidsCan tops them up as needed. 15,620 raincoats were distributed in 2013,[7] in partnership with the New Zealand Warriors.

- Warm Kids Cool Kids, providing thermal tops and beanies during the winter months and sunhats during summer in partnership with The Warehouse. Over 17,000 hand-knitted beanies and 10,000 sunhats were handed out in 2012.[7]

- Health for Kids, a new initiative for 2013 providing nit treatment, nit combs, hand sanitiser, band-aids and tissues for KidsCan partner schools. Over 2000 children were supported when the programme launched in Kaitaia - over 1000 basic hygiene items and 290 prescription medicines were provided.[7] KidsCan have also partnered with Lumino the Dentists to provide Lumino dental hygiene kits and free dental care to families of children at KidsCan partner schools on Lumino Day.[10]

- In Our Own Backyard, a child sponsorship programme which provides warm clothing, clothes, shoes, food, basic stationery and hygiene items for a child for a year.[11] It costs NZ$15 a month, or NZ$180 a year.[12] So far, about 4600 people have signed up to sponsor a child.[13]

KidsCan is funded mainly by campaign income (donations), which make up around 30% of their revenue. 18% comes from business sponsorship while a further 6% comes from government support (mainly via the Ministry of Social Development, philanthropic trusts and gaming revenue. Around 43% of revenue is made up of in kind gifts and donated goods.[1]


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