It’s not often you can say that you’ve made someone’s dreams come true. Well, Campbell List has done just that!
The Parole Ready Team Leader spends a lot of his spare time fundraising and volunteering for Koru Care, a charity that supports children with major health issues.
The charity provides children who have a condition, disability or illness that significantly impacts their quality of life with the opportunity to enjoy themselves and visit dream destinations. This can include anything from overseas trips to events closer to home such as pantomimes and picnics.
Inspired by his mother-in-law who has volunteered for Koru Care for almost 30 years, Campbell wants to help improve these children’s day-to-day lives with a bit of fun.
He recently took two weeks leave to provide care for two children on a trip to California.
“There were 26 kids in total on the trip, many of which had never been on a plane before,” explains Campbell.
“It was a big responsibility looking after another parent’s child. I did my best to ensure the two kids I looked after had the best possible experience, whilst attending to all their needs.”
It was an action-packed two weeks, with a lot of the itinerary kept secret to surprise the children. During the trip they met Mickey Mouse and friends at Disneyland, went to theme parks, took in the sights, and sampled lots of American food.
One of the highlights for Campbell was the children’s reactions when they saw the famous Hollywood sign.
“It was fantastic to see the excitement on their faces!” he says.
“Koru Care really had gone out of their way to make it an experience the kids would never forget.”
What was an amazing experience turned into an exceptional one when the group returned to New Zealand. Campbell discovered that one of the kids in the group was the son of Greg Coker, a Corrections Officer at Hawkes Bay Regional Prison.
“The children and their families deal with a lot of challenges, so I was stoked that I was able to make a difference to a fellow Corrections’ colleague,” says Campbell.
“These trips also give parents a well-deserved break, whilst still receiving regular updates, so they benefit the whole family.”
Greg says it was a trip of a lifetime for his 14-year-old son Jacob.
“It’s awesome to know one of my colleagues took time out of his personal life to care for kids like Jacob. It’s reassuring that my son was in good hands with the most amazing caregivers,” says Greg.
“The trip was something I could have only dreamt of giving Jacob. He’s made both life-long memories and friends. I’ll be forever thankful to Koru Care and volunteers like Campbell for making his dreams come true.”
Campbell is joining another group of children and Koru Care volunteers on a trip to the Gold Coast in May. If you know any deserving children who fit the charity’s criteria you can put them forward to take part in this trip of a lifetime by visiting the Koru Care website.