The Young Hearts Project
Too many of our young people struggle with the challenges of life. The Young Hearts Project, founded in 2014 by our Director Shane Anselmi, recognises the need to provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and resilience and feel empowered to deal with these challenges.
Working with three key giving partners, Youthline, the Graeme Dingle Foundation and Great Potentials, ensures that the funds raised through the Young Hearts Project are utilised to support those most in need.
In just four years our customers and Deuce have raised over $1.2 million for young New Zealanders. From every pair of full priced Deuce sneakers sold $5 is donated to the Young Hearts Project and then the funds are distributed to our three partners to deliver programmes that focus on mentoring, emotional support and value-based learning.
Four years and one million dollars can make a substantial difference. Our giving partners estimate that collectively over this time there has been 2.4 million times that they have been able to positively engage our youth in support, mentoring or empowering situations.
In 2017, we launched the Young Hearts Project in Australia and will soon be announcing our Australian giving partner as we extend the community we support.
Thank you to all our customers who have helped us make a difference. This is the perfect example of collective good, where giving a little can change a lot.
Great Potentials run a fantastic mentoring programme in schools and communities across Auckland and the Waikato. We specifically support their MATES Junior programme to help support intermediate students making the transition to secondary school by providing academic support, teaching life skills, building meaningful relationships and embracing the joy of learning to enable fundamental change.
Youthline provide support for young people who need help. Through the Young Hearts Project we are the primary funder of the their free, confidential, friendly ͚youth health service. Well known for the helpline, each month their trained volunteers answer thousands of texts, emails and calls from young people.
The Graeme Dingle Foundation
The Graeme Dingle Foundation has a mission of transforming young lives forever. The Young Hearts Project helps fund their KiwiCan programme. Working with primary and intermediate school students, the programme uses interactive lessons that provide physical, mental and creative challenges. These lessons teach vital life skills and values like positivity, integrity, resilience and respect.
In addition to the Young Hearts Project every single one of our Merchant 1948 and Mi Piaci stores sponsors a child and their families in the village of Onga, Malawi; we’re proud to be a household name there.
Until recently Onga was faced with many challenges: malaria, droughts, hunger and disease. Thanks to World Vision, and through our sponsorship, Onga has received 2491 mosquito nets, 155 dairy cows, 10 toilets (and 2 especially for girls) in schools, 25 playground sets, 2950kg of maize and soya bean seeds, and 66 boreholes have been drilled or rehabilitated.
Thanks to initiatives like these, their village is now beginning to thrive; The overall health and education of the community has improved.
Our store regularly exchange handwritten letters with their sponsored children and their families, and we’ve even had a visit from the Chief of Onga himself! He spent time at our office and stores, and shared his story with us. To say he was inspiring is an understatement. We couldn’t be more proud to be involved in realising change for the village of Onga.