There’s not much that you can get for a dollar these days. But what if for the same price as a handful of lollies you could support a youth development programme supporting young people across New Zealand? Filling your heart with gratitude while having a direct impact on someone’s life – sounds like a win-win.

Thanks to Warehouse Stationery’s add a dollar donation appeal for the Salvation Army’s Aspire programme, you can now do just that.

From the 8th-28th of July, customers at all Warehouse Stationery stores can add a dollar to their purchase to go directly to the Aspire programme.

The funds raised during this appeal are crucial to the programme’s continued success and ability to shape the futures of young people across Aotearoa.

Now in its fourth year, Warehouse Stationery stores have raised nearly $220,000 through the annual campaign. Prior to these annual appeals, The Warehouse Group provided a significant investment of $565,000 to kickstart Aspire nationwide in 2015.

Collectively these fundraisers have enabled more than 1,000 young Kiwis aged 11-16 to take part in the programme, which includes mentoring, a group adventure, family support and involvement in a community project.

Salvation Army’s National Director of Community Ministries, Jonathan Bell led the development and rollout of Aspire in 2015 and says it is a life changing programme for its participants. “Some of the young people we work with are socially isolated or have got in with bad friends, drugs or alcohol and can be a struggle for schools to manage,” says Jonathan. “Through Aspire we’ve seen huge changes in their confidence. They finish the programme knowing they have something positive to contribute and that someone knows their dreams and is supporting them.”

For one Warehouse Stationery team member, the campaign hits especially close to home. JD, who works as a team member at the Manukau store, was closely involved in The Salvation Army’s youth development programme six years ago and found it so influential that he decided to train as a youth worker so he could help others in the same way he had himself been helped.

“The facilitator I had during the programme made massive changes in my life. From my experience, I had an interest in being around young people and decided to pursue becoming a youth worker myself,” says JD. “Knowing that the young people I work with through Aspire have benefitted from me and seeing them go on to better things is why I love doing youth work.”

While significant funds have been raised for Aspire through The Warehouse Group’s fundraisers, the programme’s demand currently surpasses its funding. The Salvation Army’s goal this year is to raise enough funding from Warehouse Stationery’s appeal and other sources to enable 350 young people to complete the programme in 2020.

Learn more about the programme here, and keep an eye out at Warehouse Stationery checkouts now through the 28th July.

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