February marked a third house sale in the GJ Gardner Homes Big Buddy Big Auction, this time generating over $100,000 to improve the lives of boys without a Dad around.
Sun, smiles and good intentions were out in full force as staff and contractors gathered at the G.J. Gardner Homes Papakura Franchise to hand over a cheque for $109, 973.35. This sum brings the total GJ gift to over $400,000 since the first houses were auctioned in 2017.
The money will help to grow the Big Buddy service in South Auckland where there are currently 43 Big Buddies spending time with their Little Buddies each weekend; since operating in South Auckland 93 buddy matches have been made.
The 2020 sale was the result of a number of local subcontractor and suppliers providing their products and services -some at reduced rates- to deliver a 4-bedroom brick property at Waiata Shores, just 10 minutes from the G.J Gardner office. Franchisee Mike O’Meeghan was also part of the 2017 auctions.
“It’s been so encouraging to see the spirit in which these houses have been built,” said Big Buddy CEO Paul Burns. “A wide range of local suppliers and tradesmen have essentially passed on their own earnings to Big Buddy so we can match more Little Buddies with Big Buddies. I’ve been blown away by the generosity coming out of this project. ”
O’Meeghan says that continuing his support for Big Buddy after the Papakura Franchise’s 2017 house build was always on the cards.
“In the building industry you do see young men coming through who haven’t had a father around. I always thought if there were people around to help them earlier on, it would make a huge difference to their adult lives.
“So I actually feel quite proud to stand up and tell our team that while working in the business, we’re also raising money for Big Buddy. For me, this is about giving back and helping others give back. It’s about recognising when people are less privileged in some way than yourself. We can all do something about that. I feel this particularly about South Auckland – the area that my business operates in and can contribute to.”
Read more if you’d like to join the men making a difference to boys’ lives in South Auckland.