A decade of Octacan

Octacan 10

Ten years can take forever, and can disappear in the blink of an eye. It can be the time needed to help an idea bloom and blossom into something magnificent.

This is certainly true for our annual Octacan appeal, supporting the Family Works foodbank in Dunedin. The tenth Octacan will take place on Thursday, 21 June this year.

To celebrate a decade of Octacan, we look back on the history of this tale of giving. Su Anderson was our Marketing Co-ordinator when it was formed, and explains the beginning of the Octacan.

“Not long after I started in the role it became apparent that while our fundraising strategy was effective, we only had one event each year that involved general public participation, which was the Christmas appeal.”

“I wanted to come up with something the public would feel worthy of their participation. One restless night I hit on the possibility of an old-fashioned coin trail in the high pedestrian area of the Octagon. I decided that wouldn’t work because coins would be dwarfed by the Octagon, and it would involve too much
person-power to keep coins safe.”

“I suddenly saw the sense in swapping coins for cans. More visibility, morecolour and most people could afford a can of something. Better still, it was food we could use in the foodbank. I nudged my husband awake to tell him. He said ‘You’ll have to call it Octacan - Octa for the venue and can for food. Octacan was born.”

“A pre-dawn winter's day in the Octagon can throw anything at you; bitter  gales, sleety rain and sub-zero icy stillness. The public would understand the simple message – help us help others in need to keep warm and healthy this winter.”

“With donated cans arriving well before the 7.30am start, hearts are warm. It’s appropriate that the original koru morphed into a giant heart, and on to several hearts today.”

In 2009 we had 4,013 cans donated, placed into a shape of a koru. Last year saw 22,172 items donated into hearts. Octacan has grown to become a strong beat in the giving heart of Dunedin.

The need is huge, with over 10,000 food items distributed through the foodbank each month. Our goal for our tenth Octacan is to have at least 18,000 cans and $5,000 donated.

Let’s see if we can continue the trend of going above and beyond! If you are in Dunedin, please join us for Octacan on Thursday, 21 June 2018, from 7.30am.

Octacan graph