Tim Manning & Performers4Poverty Team Up

Posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 2:45 pm in

For property developer Tim Manning, working with rural Fijian communities has always gone hand in hand with his property development projects.

Looking for an innovative and charitable way to support the many Fijian villages he visited, struggling to provide basic needs, Tim was intrigued when he stumbled across an article in the NZ Herald profiling a kind-hearted West Auckland single mother and the charity she was desperately hunting for sponsorship for.

“When I read about Performers4Poverty I knew we had to meet with Annie to see how we could help.  Not only was her project in aid of the very communities I had spent so much time in, it was also ingeniously kiwi,” says Tim.

A not-for-profit organisation, Performers4Poverty provides school resources, books, toys, shoes, clothes and medical supplies for children living in poverty-stricken villages in rural Fiji.

For Tim, Fiji and its people have always been close to his heart; “I’ve always had an affiliation with Fiji and have been involved with business projects there for many years.  My numerous trips to Fiji allowed me to see firsthand the level of poverty in the rural villages,” he says.  “It’s heartbreaking – I had often returned to New Zealand wondering how I might be able to help. Working with Annie and Performers4Poverty was a great opportunity to give back to the Fijian communities.”

Supported by the New Zealand music and entertainment industry, Performers for Poverty gathers donated items through concerts held at New Zealand schools. Children attending the shows are asked to donate an item to see New Zealand artists perform at their school. All items donated are taken to Fiji and supplied to local villages.

Since 2006, Tim has been financially supporting the Performers4Poverty project.

“When I first started, I imagined I’d collect a few boxes, store them in the corner of the lounge and them ship them off to Fiji, says Annie. “But as the project grew and grew so did the boxes in my lounge.  I had all these performing artists doing shows in schools and the kids were meant to bring one toy or one t-shirt but instead they were bringing boxes and bags. Just as my lounge was up to the ceiling with boxes and I managed to get some discounted freight one of my mates suggested going to the NZ Herald, and within two days of the Herald article, readers started ringing with offers of financial support.”

Tim was one of those readers; “Tim rang and asked, so how many of you are going over?” Annie advised him she would simply be sending the donated goods but Tim insisted on her and her partner travelling to personally deliver the goods.  “He told me ‘you deserve to see everyone smiling when they get their gifts,’” she adds.

And it’s not only financial support that Tim Manning has provided to Performers4Poverty; “Tim has been an invaluable source of advice,” says Annie.  “He has provided generous planning assistance for our projects alongside organisational advice.  He’s always encouraging, he’s always there for us.  The emotional support has been outstanding – Tim has sent so many lovely emails of support, telling me that ‘the world needs more people like you’.  His encouragement has been invaluable.  If I ever felt like quitting, if it was all too much, Tim gave me the staying power to keep going with the project.”

Tim also printed t-shirts for performers to wear while working and to give to those individuals who have helped make a difference to the organisation.

While the last mission to Fiji was in November 2008 Annie says she hopes to have more trips up-and-running again soon.  “It’s always a challenge to raise actual dollars to fund the trips.  We have an incredible outpouring of support in the form of items donated but coming up with the cash is always a struggle.  We need more people like Tim in this world.”

“Tim really cares about people as human beings. He remembers to think about people as humans as well as the business at hand.”

Annie has confirmed that the next project is in the pipeline – and Tim has already confirmed his support

This article was made possible for the NZ Property Monitor by Timothy Terence Manning