As Microsoft New Zealand makes final preparations for the annual Partner Awards event in Auckland tonight, the company is encouraging all guests to come along prepared to dig deep and bid for some top quality items in a centrepiece charity auction for Stand Children’s Services.
Stand Children’s Services Tu Maia Whanau is a nationwide charity that provides specialist social services to vulnerable children aged 5 -12 years and their families who have complex needs.
Stand’s services include home and school based therapeutic social work, family therapy, nationwide therapeutic care and education (Children’s Villages), and a holiday programme for children of caregivers providing respite.
Microsoft New Zealand’s Managing Director, Barrie Sheers, says he was deeply moved on hearing about the work done by Stand Children’s Services after visiting their head office recently in Wellington, which led to the idea of holding the charity auction.
“Stand’s vision of ‘A world strong with children’ resonated strongly with me, especially their mission to transform the lives of vulnerable children, young people and their families by restoring healthy, purposeful and protective relationships that enable them to thrive in their communities,” he says.
“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and so we feel very aligned with Stand’s purpose, which is to build a blueprint of quality treatment and education that empowers vulnerable children and families to heal their trauma and transform their lives.”
Sheers says Microsoft has gratefully received an enticing range of donated items for the auction at the Partner Awards event, which he is sure will generate some enthusiastic bidding, including:
- A return trip for two to Fiji, provided by Air New Zealand
- A private Wine Tour and Tasting experience for four people with the wine maker, provided by Stonyridge Vineyard
- A three-day guided Wanganui River canoe trek for four people (fully catered), and a five-day canoe or kayak freedom experience for up to six people, provided by Yeti Tours
- A ‘Sleeping God’ Canyoning Adventure guided tour for two people, including abseiling, cliff jumping and sliding, provided by CanyoNZ
- A two-hour America’s Cup racing yacht experience for four people, provided by the Explore Group
- Two paintball club memberships for the War Games Club, and two tickets to a paintball Kids Camp, provided by World Challenge Tag
- A public relations workshop, plan and execution package for a Microsoft partner company, provided by PR agency Porter Novelli
- A package of event management and graphic design services from event production company Avenues Event Management
- A dinner for six with the Microsoft Senior Leadership team – including Managing Director Barrie Sheers and SMS&P Director Brent Kendrick – cooked by gourmet chef and Microsoft NZ’s Enterprise Director, Jason Court
Prior to the event, Sheers says Microsoft also asked its partner companies to consider donating several days’ worth of pro bono services towards helping Stand Children’s Services complete a number of new projects and was overwhelmed with the response.
“We are most appreciative of all the contributions from our partners and other companies towards supporting this worthy cause,” Sheers.
“All funds raised from the auction will go directly towards furthering Stand’s continuing research and learning about attachment, trauma, child development, family systems, and neurobiology, which will in turn help more Kiwi kids and their families.”
One Microsoft partner that is already proudly supporting Stand Children’s Services is IT Engine, which worked with the charity on their Office 365 implementation project.
Managing Director, Delia Gill, says that Stand is a proactive and dynamic organisation that is transforming the lives of at-risk children and young people.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Stand over the last couple of years,” Gill adds.
“Their pragmatic approach to everything they do, including their technology is a fantastic example of what IT should be in a not-for-profit.”
With a record number of submissions, the 2016 annual Microsoft NZ Partner Awards is set to be the biggest in its nine years of existence.
The awards recognise excellence in the IT sector from those companies that integrate Microsoft solutions into their products and services to accelerate innovation and go above and beyond customer expectations.