Becoming debt-free is no easy feat, but Howick resident Nora Jack has a unique knack for helping local families to do just that.
Ms Jack has just been awarded a five-year service award for managing the Howick branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP), an international debt counselling charity with a growing network of centres throughout New Zealand.
She started volunteering with the Howick-based office when it opened in March 2011 after a friend encouraged her to join, and became the centre manager in 2012.
Since then, she has seen 56 individuals go debt-free and is currently helping 30 families working toward becoming debt-free.
Ms Jack recalled the story of one woman who had saved $800 to spend on her children at Christmas for the first time in her life.
Those are the moments that make it all worth it, she said.
Ms Jack knows what it means to be struggling after raising three kids on her own as a solo mother, but is in her element helping other families to get debt-free and focus on what’s most important for them.
“We’re here to help them to be released from the burden of debt.
“We do have a solution, and we walk along with them in their journey with ongoing support.”
Over the course of three visits, CAP assesses the family’s financial situation and provides a budget to move forward on.
Head office representatives deal with creditors on behalf of the clients, and there is ongoing support provided by CAP during the process.
Elim Christian Centre East lead pastor Steve Green said Ms Jack is a huge asset to the community.
“Nora is simply amazing. She has such a heart for the people that she cares for and helps through CAP. She is so devoted to helping them escape the prison of debt and find a greater hope for their future.
“As the lead pastor of Elim I can say that we are all so proud of her and all the work her and CAP do for our community.”