Tommy’s Real Estate has once again committed to donating $75,000 to Wellington Free Ambulance. Mark Hamilton director of Tommy’s City office, reflects on Tommy’s long-standing partnership with Wellington Free Ambulance and their ongoing support of our Onesie Day annual appeal.

“I think for us it was about giving back to the community with something a little bit different, with more of a community focus than we had in the past,” Mark says. “We just thought it was the right thing to do.”

Tommy’s staff and other onesie-clad volunteers would usually be out collecting on the Wellington streets in September but due to COVID-19, this year’s appeal will largely be online.

Mark encourages other businesses to sponsor local good causes and get involved. “What you give is what you get out of it and the more you give the more you get.”

He says it’s all part of being flexible and doing what’s needed.

This year Tommy’s will continue to promote Onesie Day and will even have collection boxes at their open homes for people to donate. Mark Coffey, director of Tommy’s Hutt Valley office, says Wellington Free is not far from anybody’s life. “Somebody always knows someone who has had to use the service.”

He says the response from the public on Onesie Day is always really positive, “people are really generous and our teams quite enjoy getting out there too.”

“I think it’s about highlighting that Wellington Free is unique. It’s the only free ambulance service in the country and it’s important it stays free especially for those who might otherwise hesitate to call.”

Mark says people will often share their stories with him too, saying Wellington Free saved their life or similar such sentiments; it’s this overall positivity that is the highlight of Onesie Day.

For Mark and collectors like Wellington Free Ambulance Call Taker Deepak, Onesie Day is an opportunity to get among people and ‘shake the bucket’, as Deepak calls it.

Deepak has collected on his days off for the past three years and is easy to spot in his cookie monster onesie. He says Onesie Day is a great initiative to raise funds and awareness about such a special institution.

“The way it engages employees, supporters and the public is enthralling. Above all it also means that people can dress whimsically and engage meaningfully.”Mark says, Wellington Free relies heavily on community support. “I think a lot of people still don’t appreciate the difference between Wellington Free and the general ambulance service around the country.

“If you grow up in Wellington you assume it’s free, but you don’t always appreciate that it is not free everywhere else,” says Mark.

Mark says when it comes down to it, to be able to keep Wellington Free Ambulance “free”, it falls on Wellington businesses and community to maintain this.

“Especially since COVID-19, supporting local is more important than ever and you can’t get any more local than Wellington Free Ambulance and Tommy’s Real Estate.

Tommy’s are exclusive to the Wellington region too, and that’s a synergy we have, says Mark.

“It’s an association that Tommy’s is very proud to have.”

Help us support Wellington Free Ambulance this Onesie Day, donate here.

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