07 Dec 2020

Acorn and TECT: A successful partnership

The Acorn Foundation has a successful partnership with TECT, the electricity funder in the Western Bay of Plenty. For the past two years, TECT beneficiaries have had the option of donating their rebate to the Acorn Vital Impact Fund, which supports organisations working in the areas of greatest need in the region. More than $12,000 was donated in the latest round, with nearly $70,000 contributed to the fund by TECT beneficiaries overall.

In 2020, the Vital Impact Fund supported the following groups:

  • Grief Support Services has been working in the WBOP community since 1986, offering accessible and affordable counselling and support services to those who are experiencing loss or grief.
  • KidsCan is a national organisation with a local reach, as 3300 children in low decile schools and early childhood education centres in the Western Bay of Plenty receive access to food in schools, hygiene items, waterproof jackets, warm socks and sturdy shoes through this programme.
  • St. Peter’s House makes a positive difference to individuals and families facing life challenges through counselling, life-skills courses, parenting programmes, budgeting and debt management services and social support for the homeless.
  • Sustainability Options is an exceptionally collaborative organisation that seeks to improve the quality of housing of the most disadvantaged, using their 20 Degrees programme that addresses minor repairs, maintenance and a healthy housing literacy programme.

Acorn Foundation General Manager Lori Luke says the generosity shown by TECT beneficiaries will have a long-lasting impact in the community. “The Acorn Foundation is so appreciative of this partnership with TECT that provides a means for generous people to contribute TECT rebates to the Vital Impact Fund. Acorn’s distributions to the community increased by more than 50% this year, all thanks to donors who support our region in all sorts of ways, including gifts in a Will, living giving, trust resettlements, Giving Circles, and workplace and corporate giving. Distributions to charitable organisations from the Vital Impact Fund increased more than 4-fold over last year, due in large part to the gifts from TECT beneficiaries.”

Janet Baird is the Service Manager and Senior Counsellor at Grief Support Services, and says the donations from TECT beneficiaries have gone a long way to supporting their work. “We absolutely value the donations from TECT beneficiaries and Acorn as it contributes towards our support of vulnerable individuals, families and whanau within our community – helping them to manage the turmoil of grief and loss, adjust to huge changes and attain their aspirations for their quality of life.”

Jo Wills from Sustainability Options says the funding has allowed them to extend their capacity. "Receiving funding from the Acorn Vital Impact Fund means we can extend our capacity further for community workshops focused on healthy housing behaviours and DIY opportunities. The workshops are so impactful to the confidence of people being able to address some of the contributors to cold, damp, resource hungry housing. Participants have told us they are 'game changing' and that they 'learn skills for life'.”

The Acorn-TECT partnership provides benefits for the entire community!