Eva McGauley has been named Satan’s Biggest Little Helper for 2017 for her support of HELP, an Auckland-based not-for-profit organisation that helps women and children heal from the traumatising effects of sexual assault. What makes Eva’s story so remarkable is not just her age, but the fact that she’s battling terminal cancer.
At a special lunch held at the recently refurbished HELL Lower Hutt, HELL general manager Ben Cumming presented Eva with a $1,000 cash reward on behalf of the HELL team. Runner-up Sophie Griffiths, a ten-year-old from Pukekohe, will receive $200 HELL vouchers.
The inaugural award has been established by HELL on the back of its Satan’s Little Helper (SLH) programme, which has been running since 2013 with the aim of giving a ‘boost’ to Kiwi youth “who are going through or have been through hell”.
“In the course of receiving SLH nominations from friends or relatives of young Kiwis going through a rough time, some exceptional individuals came to our attention,” says HELL general manager Ben Cumming. “We realised that there are a number of young people out there going above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of others, some of them even while facing difficulties of their own.
“So we established Satan’s Biggest Little Helper of the Year to acknowledge those under 23-year-olds who have helped or are helping create a better future for others, and we’re all extremely proud to award the first title to Eva – she’s a very worthy winner indeed.”
Eva, who will turn 18 in August, was chosen for her work with HELP, an Auckland-based not-for-profit organisation that helps women and children heal from the traumatising effects of sexual assault.
Facing an uncertain future, having been diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Eva decided that top of her bucket list was to help end sexual violence in New Zealand.
As part of that mission, she’s raised more than $50,000 through a Givealittle page and various charitable events, including an art auction.
“My family has always encouraged me to do what I love,” says Eva. “When I was 14, I began working with Wellington Rape Crisis (WRC), where I learnt about prevention, the effects of sexual violence and the legal system regarding sexual violence.
“In addition to my work with HELP, I’m also working with the Ministry of Social Development to create an online service where survivors of sexual abuse can message trained counsellors and get the help and support they need, because I believe that no one should have to walk that road alone.”
Eva’s story features in a book entitled 200 Women: Who Will Change The Way You See The World, released in Australia later this year. While some of the $1,000 HELL award will go towards attending that, the remainder will be spent on fighting for her health.
In receiving the award, Eva said: “It’s so lovely to know that the effort you put into battling for a cause does not go unrecognised and is all worth it. Some of this money will go towards my own treatment and the rest to buy a ticket for my mum to join me at the book launch in Sydney later this year.”
At just ten years old, Sophie Griffiths proves that age is no barrier when it comes to helping those less fortunate. As part of a school project called Genius Hour, where students lead their own learning and are given basic criteria to plan from, Sophie took ‘making a difference to others’ to the next level.
Sophie took it upon herself to fundraise for toys and food to fill the Salvation Army’s Christmas hampers.
As well as showing she has a big heart, Sophie demonstrated great initiative and confidence by approaching a number of businesses to support her efforts, including HELL Pizza through its Satan’s Little Helper website.
Satan’s Biggest Little Helper of the Year 2018 – nominations open!
Nominations for Satan’s Biggest Little Helper of the Year 2018 will be open until 31 March 2018. Nominations can be made through the Satan’s Little Helper nomination form at www.satanslittlehelper.co.nz
Nominees must meet all or most of the following criteria:
- Be under 23 years old.
- Their initiative will be focused on ‘creating a better future for others’.
- Their initiative will be operating ‘under the radar’.
- Their activities will be largely NZ-based, originate in NZ, or be coordinated from NZ.
Photo 1691 from the award presentation at HELL Lower Hutt (L-R): Declan Cox (Eva’s father), Eva McGauley, Ben Cumming (General Manager – Hell), Kate Hardwick (Eva’s mother)