Coca-Cola Europacific Partners New Zealand's (CCEP NZ) 2023 Support My Cause campaign saw the company donating $34,000 to local charities in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Now in its second year in New Zealand, Support My Cause is a global initiative to support local charities, community organisations or good causes that resonate with CCEP's employees. This year, employees at CCEP NZ nominated and voted for local charities that strive to make a difference in sustainability, community, inclusion and diversity.
The recipients of the 2023 Support My Cause NZ funding round are Heart Kids NZ, nominated by Emma Smith (Coffee Marketing Manager); Pet Refuge, nominated by Lana Vershinina (Safety Advisor); Fair Food, nominated by Dawn Goodeve (Procurement Category Manager), and Buttabean Motivation nominated by Tinoi Savea (Load Scheduling Specialist).
General Manager of Strategy and Brand at CCEP NZ, Wendy Rayner, said that the initiative is an incredible opportunity for CCEP employees to support charities that are meaningful to them.
"'Support My Cause' is one of the important initiatives CCEP NZ invests in to support the community. We're delighted we can provide an opportunity for our passionate team to give back to important causes to them and their communities," said Rayner.
Heart Kids NZ is an organisation that provides free, lifelong care and support for children and whānau impacted by childhood heart conditions. For 40 years, they have provided ongoing support to ensure that heart kids and their whānau never feel alone.
The donation of $10,000 from CCEP will provide direct practical and emotional support to heart kids and their whānau.
"Heart Kids NZ receives no government funding and is reliant on the generosity of kind-hearted supporters and donors to ensure we can continue providing vital support services to heart families, where and when they need it most," said Alanah Gilder, Corporate Relationships Lead at Heart Kids New Zealand.
"We are extremely thankful for the donation that CCEP NZ is making towards Heart Kids NZ. We couldn't do what we do without generous donations such as this one," concluded Gilder.
Emma Smith developed a very personal connection to Heart Kids NZ after her daughter was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that required two open heart surgeries before she was four months old.
"It has been such a challenging and heart-wrenching time for us, but having Heart Kids NZ in our corner has made the journey more manageable. I'm over the moon to have the opportunity to support this life-changing charity through CCEP NZ and say thank you for everything that Heart Kids NZ have done for me and my family," said Smith.
Leaving behind family pets can be a significant barrier for families attempting to leave violent situations at home. Pet Refuge was established to provide a safe shelter for beloved pets while their families transition to a safer environment.
Lana Vershinina saw Support My Cause as an opportunity to support and increase awareness about the important charity financially.
"Everybody deserves to have a safe home without abuse. Support My Cause has allowed me to support this worthy cause financially and talk about Pet Refuge and the amazing work they do to help Kiwis escape home violence. We never know what's happening behind closed doors," said Vershinina.
CCEP's $10,000 donation will help ensure that Pet Refuge can continue to provide families and their pets a chance at a fresh future.
Erin Roberts, General Manager of marketing and business from Pet Refuge, said the company was incredibly grateful to be a recipient of this donation, and it really couldn't have come at a better time.
"2023 has been our hardest year yet, and we've seen an unprecedented need. So much so that in June, we were forced to turn people away for the first time," said Roberts.
"The donation from CCEP NZ will allow us to keep saying 'yes' to families and their precious pets while we continue to appeal for crucial funds."
Established in 2011, Fair Foods is Auckland's original food rescue charity. They recover surplus food from growers, manufacturers and retailers and re-distribute it to those who need it most. Fair Food's Conscious Kitchen allows the organisation to cook and bake the food they rescue to make meals for those in need.
"This generous donation from CCEP NZ enables Fair Food to create a week's worth of meals for 700 people who would otherwise go without. We are so thankful to CCEP NZ for helping us feed our community," said Michelle Blau, General Manager of Fair Food.
Dawn Goodeve nominated Fair Food after a team volunteering day with the charity earlier in the year.
"I was blown away by the amount of food from supermarkets that was going to landfill each day and could instead be redirected to the community. With the current cost of living crisis, CCEP NZ's donation is a practical way of giving back and ensuring that no one goes hungry," said Goodeve.
Buttabean Motivation was established to empower communities and people who need a helping hand to get back on track with their health and fitness. Fuatino Laban, Chief Operations Officer at Buttabean, believes that successful futures begin with a healthy lifestyle.
"We aim to breed a culture of belonging and encourage our members to lend a hand and support one another no matter what stage of their journey. The donation from CCEP will assist us in funding our Foodshare, which provides food and necessities for families in need," said Laban.
Buttabean Motivation was nominated by Tinoi Savea, who has a personal connection to the charity.
"Buttabean motivation has helped me personally as well as members of my family and friends. I truly appreciate the opportunity from CCEP NZ for this amazing opportunity to help others," said Savea.
The Support My Cause initiative is just one of the crucial initiatives CCEP New Zealand invests in to support the community. This year, CCEP New Zealand was actively involved with disaster relief and response after the devastating weather hugely impacted the Auckland, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne communities. The business also has an ongoing partnership with Sea Cleaners, supports local groups on a grassroots level with their Community Caracoolers and produces the annual Coca-Cola Christmas in the Park events as a gift to the people of Christchurch and Auckland.