It's amazing how just a little bit here and there makes such a huge difference. The odd 50c dropped in a donation box can quickly compound into enough to pay for a Cleft Surgery, or provide antibiotics for a malnourished child. The Ruel Foundation Charity Box programme was started by Johnny Gilchrist in 2006, Liz Yates then took over and tirelessly and more often than not single-handedly run the entire operation. Last year Liz stepped back and handed over her amazing work to our new Charity Box Hero - Margo Mossop.
A Bay man has seen first-hand just how life-changing cleft lip surgery can be and is now willing to shave off the beard he has been growing for three years to help other kids have a shot at a normal life.
Hamish MacMillan's daughter Emily, was born with a cleft lip and has had numerous surgeries to correct it. Oceanside Family Chiropractic owner, Mr MacMillan, said he was in his cricket clubhouse when he was asked what it would take to cut off his voluminous beard.
Typhoon Melor hit the Philippine Islands 10 days before Christmas, bringing winds and rain that destroyed entire villages along with crops and food supplies. Our local hero, Pauline Curtis-Smith, was of course unable to sit by and watch this unfold, so once the immediate threat to Ruel House and the safety of the children had passed she sprang into action.