13-year-old Seirosa makes $5,000 donation on her birthday
For her 13th birthday, Seirosa Wallwork-Lamb, asked for one thing: to visit the residents of the Goshen Trust, and gift them $5,000.
Miss Wallwork-Lamb has spent three months baking for hours every weekend, in a fundraising effort to contribute to the lives of respite home residents living with often debilitating mental health issues.
Hundreds of cookies, apple crumbles and Pavlovas later, the high schooler raised $2,500, and for her efforts received a matching donation from Ray White Real Estate in Remuera.
Goshen Trust Chief Executive Officer, Naomi Sone Eshraghi, was overwhelmed by the donation, and thanked Miss. Wallwork-Lamb through tears on behalf of the residents.
“It is such a wonderful feeling, and we are very honoured you have chosen us,” Ms. Eshraghi said.
“It’s such an exciting thing to have a 13-year-old at this stage of life wanting to help others, thinking about someone else, let alone fundraising for such a good cause.”
Ms. Eshraghi said the funds will go towards things the residents are currently going without.
The residents of the Goshen Trust welcomed Miss Wallwork-Lamb and her mother, lawyer Su'a Hellene Wallwork to the residents with a song, ‘I think you’re wonderful’, a fitting song for the moment.
“When each one of us feels important inside/Loving and giving and glad we're alive/Oh what a difference we'll make in each day and all because someone decided to say/I think you're wonderful.”
The group also sang Happy Birthday to the birthday girl, and presented her with a cake which everyone happily shared. She was also welcomed with a hand painted banner, thanking her for her donation.
Miss Wallwork-Lamb told the residents she feels honoured too.
“I know it’s not much but I hope it will go a little way to help your lives. What [you] are doing is amazing and it’s great someone here is helping out with some of the more affected people of our community,” she said.
“I am very grateful to all the staff and people at Goshen here who put aside time to help other people.”
At such a young age, Miss Wallwork-Lamb had already baked her way into the hearts of many, especially the targets of her fundraising efforts.
Just last year, Samoa Observer’s Save the Child Fund and the Little Sisters of the Poor received $2000 each, and in May this year the Animal Protection Society were the recipients of $7000: enough to buy an animal ultrasound machine for the first time.
She doesn’t just fundraise, but tries to learn about the organisation she is donating too.
“I know lots of people are so strong that they can get through life with all the problems they are facing, and I know that it’s a big difficulty to go through, with the view some people have on [mental health],” she said.
“Anyone who has a disability and is getting through life with it, they are the real superheroes of today.”
Miss Wallwork-Lamb is not sure who she would like to donate to next, but she is not done with her Cookies for Charity project yet.
Goshen Mental Health Services Trust is a non-government organisation and respite home for people with mental health issues. If you or anyone you know needs help, they can be reached on telephone 27487.