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Mike King likens depression to walking through mud every day. To give New Zealanders an insight into what that feels like he started Gumboot Friday, the fundraising appeal through The Key to Life Charitable Trust, encouraging Kiwis to not just donate money, but to wear a pair of gumboots for the day.
The money raised through Gumboot Friday goes towards funding free professional counselling for our vulnerable kids, so they can get the help they need, when they need it.
As a foundation partner, we saw an incredible amount of support last year for our kids and plenty of generous contributions. Last year, the $1.3 million raised through Gumboot Friday provided 10,670 critical counselling sessions to more than 2,500 New Zealanders. But the demand is huge and our kids need our help more than ever.
This year, Mike has upped the ante, aiming to raise $5 million - and we're getting right behind him. To get there, he’s not just pulling on a pair of gumboots, he’s hitting the road on a tractor to raise funds and boost awareness of mental health issues. Along with 30 others, Mike will travel 2000km from Bluff to Cape Reinga on a fleet of 20 tractors to host free community and school events throughout New Zealand.
We’re helping to make the Gumboot Friday Tractor Trek possible and will support the collection of cashless donations, and help drive donations online at each Tractor Trek stop. To find out when the Tractor Trek is stopping in your community and to join the local event, please visit gumbootfridaytractortrek.org.
Mike says the Tractor Trek is primarily focused on New Zealand’s rural communities, which face high rates of poor mental health and suicide. “Our nationwide trek is about raising awareness and encouraging communities and individuals to drive the attitudinal and social change that is needed to reverse the incidence of suicide and depression.”