Stop that train

Goodwill Express makes a run to help others.

Volunteers sort goods collected by the Goodwill Express. [Photo courtesy of Kiwi Rail]

A simple idea by the staff of Wellington, New Zealand, train operator Tranz Metro to collect food for The Salvation Army quickly turned into a runaway train.

Last month, the Goodwill Express traveled Tranz Metro’s electrified rail lines throughout greater Wellington collecting food for Salvation Army food banks.

The express was the brainchild of Tranz Metro Train Managers Wayne Bedford and Gary Innes and Customer Service Supervisor Michelle Thomas. Tranz Metro, owned by Kiwi Rail, provided the train, its staff volunteered their time and local companies and organizations helped with free design, printing and publicity.

“Having been involved in similar projects with The Salvation Army over a number of years, changing careers and cities does not change the desire to help within the wider community,” said Bedford. “It’s all about people helping people”.

The train stopped for a few minutes at every station to allow the public to drop off non-perishable foodstuffs. Collection boxes were also made available at some manned stations to allow people who had not been able to bring food on the day to donate.

The Goodwill Express collected a truckload of food, which was distributed to food banks in the greater Wellington area.

Major Robbie Ross of The Salvation Army was delighted by the generosity and initiative shown by Kiwi Rail Staff. “With an increased need of 44.5 percent for food parcels this year, the Goodwill Express will be a great help to those in need within the greater Wellington region.”


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