Sun, May 12, 2024 4:35 PM

Big brother hatches charity plan for rescue service


Paula Hulburt

It is a bright, blue-skied morning. The first of the season's frosts has frozen the grass into tiny, tufted peaks and Louis Guthrie sees each breath bloom as he greets his hens.

Sixteen excited Red Shavers weave around his ankles, clucking contentedly as they wait for breakfast. Each hen is greeted by name or with a smile.

Almost every morning for two years, Louis has gotten up early to feed his much-loved chooks, carefully collecting their eggs, then selling them for a good cause.

Now, after countless cartons, the kind-hearted 10-year-old has donated $2000 to the air ambulance service and Ronald McDonald House Wellington who helped care for his sister, Freda.

Freda and Louis Guthrie signed an aircraft at Life Flight headquarters in Wellington after making a donation. Photo: Supplied.

Visiting the rescue base in Wellington recently to make the donation in person, Louis was joined by his proud family.

Mum Kate Guthrie says Louis was happy to help.

“He didn’t complain once or say he wanted to spend the money on anything else.

“He’s always loved animals and we’ve always had them [the chooks] up here so it made sense they were Louis’s to look after. He just loves them.

“He grew up hearing about Life Flight and Ronald McDonald House, so they were the charities he wanted to help.

“There wasn’t really anything else he wanted to spend the money on.”

Parents Kate and George Guthrie say they will always be grateful for the staff who stepped in to help their daughter.

As a newborn, Freda, 7, needed urgent life-saving surgery and was flown from Wairau Hospital to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital.

The family spent three weeks dividing their time between the hospital and Ronald McDonald House.

Kate says both Life Flight staff and the team at Ronald McDonald House had been amazing.

Louis Guthrie, left hands over the proceeds of his egg enterprise fundraiser to WESTPAC Chopper Crewperson Scott. Photo: Provided

“They were the most incredible people.”

Louis, who was just 4 years old when Freda was born, says he wanted to help the charities as they had looked after his family and sister so well.

While the Fairhall School student only has vague recollections of the time she was so sick, he does recall being excited to meet her.

“I was excited to be a big brother. I remember going in with dad and seeing her.

“We do a lot together.”

The family flew to Wellington to make the donation on Sounds Air who waived the ticket cost to support their efforts.

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