News Release

The Power of People Working Together

It was muddy and wet, but there was lots of laughter and fun as 35 volunteers had a great time helping to plant trees and other vegetation as part of an effort to restore the trail through the Patuone Reserve in Takapuna on Saturday, 19 August.

They showed up in gum boots and gloves, ready to lend a hand. But how were all of these volunteers found and organized?

It was thanks to the power of a free website now available in New Zealand,

Launched in New Zealand in the past year, is a platform created to alert volunteers to the many potential projects they can get involved in. For example, the project on 19 August was sponsored by the Pupuke Birdsong Project (PBP) and Auckland Council and is just one example of the way that can get people working together. was created to bring people of all walks of life together to improve life for everyone through service in our communities. Its governing board consists of people representing a variety of service-based organizations, such as The Red Cross, Rotary International, The American Service Commission, The Salvation Army, Catholic Relief Services, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian Services.

Of those who came to plant shrubs and trees, many of them found out about the project by answering an announcement placed by the sponsor, Pupuke Birdsong Project, on They had previously registered with the website and used the free, convenient downloadable app to search projects available in the Auckland area. The Pupuke Birdsong Project’s recovery effort in the Patuone Reserve was one of those.

Kelley Saunders, a project manager for, works with local organizations throughout New Zealand to help them place their projects on the free internet platform. In this case, she worked with Tabitha Becroft, of the PBP, to get the project details organized and placed where potential volunteers could view them, either via the website itself or through a free mobile phone app.

“Once the project was placed on, it was then up to those individuals out there who like to volunteer for opportunities such as this to check the app, see this project and volunteer for it,” she said. “Once they did that, we started to see people volunteering to come and help out,” Saunders continued.

“It was great to see the number of people who got involved.”

In a little over two hours, hundreds of plants were put in place. Over time, the trailside areas will become lush with protective green vegetation.

“It was just wonderful to see this come to fruition,” said Lorie Hobbs, an attorney in Auckland who helped organize the project. She met Becroft in the Patuone Reserve while walking the trail and, as a user, suggested to Becroft that she look into using it.

“I’m really happy to see the number of people who came and helped, and hope this can be a tool to help other groups meet their volunteer needs,” Hobbs said. “Today we really witnessed the power of people working together!”

Anyone can use, which is a website where the volunteer needs of organizations are posted, and volunteers search for opportunities to enhance the quality of life in the community. It’s a free service that links community needs with volunteers, and does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in posting projects or in encouraging volunteers to serve.

For more information visit or contact Kelley Saunders at 022 402 2169, or

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