The Young Hearts Project
Too many young people struggle with the challenges of life. The Young Hearts Project, founded in 2014 by our Director Shane Anselmi, recognises the need to provide opportunities for young people to develop skills and resilience and feel empowered to deal with these challenges.
Working with our three key giving partners, Youthline, the Graeme Dingle Foundation and Great Potentials, ensures that the funds raised through the Young Hearts Project are utilised to support those most in need.
In just six years our customers and Deuce have raised over $1.5 million for young Australasians. From every pair of full-priced Deuce sneakers sold, a portion is donated to the Young Hearts Project and then the funds are distributed to our four partners to deliver programmes that focus on mentoring, emotional support and value-based learning.
Thank you to all our customers who have helped us make a difference. This is the perfect example of collective good, where giving a little can change a lot.
For 25 years the Great Potentials Foundation has been working with low-income New Zealand communities, helping to unleash the potential of children, young people and families through education and parental support. Great Potentials helps over 5,000 children, young people and families across New Zealand each year.
Great Potentials run a fantastic mentoring programme in schools and communities across Auckland and the Waikato. We specifically support their MATES Junior programme to help support intermediate students making the transition to secondary school by providing academic support, teaching life skills, building meaningful relationships and embracing the joy of learning to enable fundamental change.
The Young Hearts Project formed this partnership on a shared passion and commitment to helping young people and the issues they face today. We have been proudly supporting Youthline since 2014.
Youthline was created over 40 years ago and has centres across New Zealand. It was established to ensure young people know where to get help and can access support when they need it.
How do we help?
- We fund a service for 10-25 years olds to have testing, prescriptions and general check-ups available free of charge.
- We also help fund regional youth development programmes and information services including referral services, early intervention, counselling and health promotion
- Volunteering – there are often opportunities which come up for us to provide a hand. Most recently we helped pack boxes of pens for their biggest fundraising initiative.
The Graeme Dingle Foundation
Since 1995, The Graeme Dingle Foundation has been helping young New Zealanders find purpose and direction through their highly effective programmes for young people aged 5 to 18 years old.
We support one of their programmes Kiwi Can through an interactive values and life skills programme delivered to primary and intermediate school students. Delivered by specially trained teachers, the programmes promote values of; positive relationships, integrity, resilience and respect.
In addition to the Young Hearts Project, every single one of our Merchant 1948 store sponsors a child and their families in the village of Onga, Malawi; we’re proud to be a household name there thanks to World Vision.
Until recently Onga was faced with many challenges: malaria, droughts, hunger and disease. Thanks to World Vision, and through our sponsorship, Onga has received 2491 mosquito nets, 155 dairy cows, 10 toilets (and 2 especially for girls) in schools, 25 playground sets, 2950kg of maize and soya bean seeds, and 66 boreholes have been drilled or rehabilitated.
Thanks to initiatives like these, their village is now beginning to thrive; The overall health and education of the community has improved.
Our stores regularly exchange handwritten letters with their sponsored children and their families, and we’ve even had a visit from the Chief of Onga himself! He spent time at our office and stores, and shared his story with us. To say he was inspiring is an understatement. We couldn’t be more proud to be involved in realising change for the village of Onga.
Our People & Culture
Together we create to inspire: our people are the heart of all we do and we pride ourselves on our company culture and values. Everything we do relates to our six company values: Inspiring, Accountable, Integrity, Inclusive, Innovative and Proactive. We live and breathe these values on a daily basis.
Demonstration of our values is celebrated daily, weekly and monthly with thousands of values nominations received from both our stores and Support Office annually. We also celebrate and recognise our values champs regularly across the company - big or small, to us it's all worth celebrating!
We’ve been proud finalists of the Best Workplace awards for 13 years, and overall winners for 2012, 2013 and 2017. We also won the HumanKind EX award for 2018 and 2019 in the medium-large category.
Interested in joining us? Find out more here