Steve Koerber's Old Blog

Remuera's house sold name since 1998 – 021864166

What’s it like to be rich?

Posted by Steve Koerber on April 10, 2008

Today I was one of thousands of official collectors for the Starship Foundation’s annual appeal.  For those who don’t know it, Starship is Auckland’s (and NZ’s) largest children’s hospital.  Every year Starship hosts thousands of sick and injured children.  The staff do an amazing job under very trying conditions.

I dutifully arrived at New World Remuera Supermarket at 4pm and received my collection bucket and Starship vest from a lovely lady named Helen.  Helen had been the person I had been corresponding with via email in the run up to collection day.  It was nice to put a face to the name of the co-ordinator. 

I had volunteered the previous year but on that occassion I was left alone to collect donations.  Today was different however, and I had the pleasure of Helen’s company for the duration.  Her husband, son and new daughter-in-law were helping too.  They had been tirelessly collecting throughout the Eastern Suburbs all day.

If you’ve never stood on a street corner and collected money for a charity, you should.  Personally I find it a truly humbling and fascinating experience.  Being a real estate agent, my job involves asking people for money and business opportunities all day long.  But asking for money from strangers is quite different. 

Some people see the collector as they approach from the carpark and decide to scurry past as quickly as they can without risking eye contact.  Some people say they gave to another collector up the street (most are genuine).  Some approach with hands in pockets and purses, eager to donate.  Some give reluctantly, feeling guilty if they don’t.  Some just say no thanks.  Some give to every collector who asks them to.  The no-eye-contact scurriers slip past even quicker on their way out of the supermarket.  It’s a shame for them that the entrance is the only exit.

A man whose wife kindly donated on the way out said to Helen, “You should call the woman who won $19million in Lotto last week”.  To my (and his) complete amazement Helen said to him, “I’m the woman who won the previous record of $18million two years ago.  I’m sure the new record holder will be donating”.

The next time someone asks you to donate to a worthwhile charity, you never know, it could be Helen or a member of her family.  If you give, like them, you might become richer from the experience.  Whether you buy a lotto ticket or not!

Today I witnessed some of New Zealand’s luckiest people, helping some of New Zealand’s unluckiest people.  Good on them.


One Response to “What’s it like to be rich?”

  1. […] by Steve Koerber on May 2, 2009 Last year I met the winner of one of NZ’s biggest Powerball Jackpots ever – $18mil+.  It was quite an experience!  […]

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