A good news beneficiary story

I was delighted to read this story in the Taranaki Daily News this morning:

Kerry Smith’s five kids pooled their pocket money to get him a ticket to last week’s New Plymouth All Blacks-Ireland test, but in the end he found someone who needed it more.

The New Plymouth sickness beneficiary had just finished his shift as a volunteer at gate three of Yarrow Stadium and was lining up to watch his first All Blacks test since 1994 when he saw something that made him change his mind.

A young boy in a family ahead of him was quite obviously upset after realising, as the pre-match fireworks wowed the crowd, he had left his ticket in their hotel room. Hesitating only long enough to check where his own ticket was, Mr Smith handed it to the boy and the family went in.

Shrugging his shoulders and smiling, Mr Smith has the look of a guilty man.

“I want to give back in some way and I can’t do it financially but in other ways I can. If I help people and friends it makes me feel good. I don’t know what else to tell you mate. It’s all sounds a bit flowery.”

Flowery it may be, but his actions caught the attention of a visiting Irish family who emailed New Plymouth mayor Peter Tennent with the story.

“They ended their email saying, ‘Rest assured we will be recounting this experience back home and will fondly remember New Plymouth and this kind, jolly red-shirted man who showed compassion and kindness to strangers’.

“Kerry is a wonderful example of how kind-hearted and supportive this community is and how a simple action can mean so much to people,” Mr Tennent said.

Yes, a rare media story depicting a beneficiary in a positive light!  Well done, Mayor Tennent, and well done, Taranaki Daily News.  The vast majority of beneficiaries are like Kerry Smith – kind, caring, warm people who support their families, communities, and even total strangers as best they can, but for one reason or another are unable to earn an income.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and another Mayor a bit down State Highway 3 in Whanganui could learn something from Kerry Smith and from the supportive comments about him from Mayor Tennent.  Somehow, I doubt they will.

4 thoughts on “A good news beneficiary story

  1. Not many comments on this good news beneficiary story and I’ve not heard of this mans kind act in any other media.

    Whereas if this was a thread whose theme was along the lines of “those undeserving bludgers are ripping us all off and here’s how we’re going to get tough and force them to work “, or in other words if this thread was based on the national govts latest welfare policy release then all the usual right benefit bashers would be putting the boot in .

    Good on Mr Smith.

    The poor and common folk contain some of the most beautiful New Zealanders that you could ever hope to meet.

    God bless em

  2. That’s a very sweet story. I like hearing news like this rather than the usual “Crime…Horror…Death” stories that usually make the news. But as NZ Native implied, it seems that most people are drawn to the sensational and negative news pieces in general.

    Jake.

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