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Rebecca's Trust



Background Information

The aim of The Rebecca Hulst Trust is to support families where a child with disabilities is fully included and valued.

"As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live."

Pope John Paul II

The Trust focuses on families' practical needs, recent projects include financial assistance for:

children's speech therapy

inclusive education network seminars to over 200 people

parents attending relevant conferences

the communications costs of a parents' support group

Often the financial assistance means more to families than the items or services it can purchase, it is a reminder that there are others who understand and care.

Formed in 1993, the Trust has granted over $40,000 throughout New Zealand.

The Rebecca Hulst Trust has charitable status with the Department of Inland Revenue and is governed by a Board of Trustees: Jane Hulst, Debra Lockie and Diane Wilson JP.

Who Was Rebecca Hulst?

Born in Auckland on 14 October 1986, Rebecca Anne Hulst was the first child of Jane and Gerard Hulst.

When Rebecca was two years old she was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome is a severely debilitating degenerative condition affecting a person's motor skills. Rebecca was unable to speak or move voluntarily.

"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted."

Mother Theresa

Despite her physical disabilities, Rebecca participated in every aspect of family, community, school and church life. By doing so she brought joy to the many people she touched. Rebecca was a valued member of her community.

Rebecca died on 28 August 1993, shortly before her seventh birthday. Jane and Gerard established the Rebecca Hulst Trust in her memory to help other families of children with special needs achieve inclusion in their communities.

"Everyone must die sometime. The question is whether the death means something or not."

Madame Li

What Funds The Trust?

The Trust does not seek donations, it prefers to earn its income.

Primarily it is funded by proceeds from the sale of two recipe books, Simply Salads, and Befores & Afters.

Both books are best sellers. With minimal publicity, using direct mail, Simply Salads has sold over 10,000 copies and Befores & Afters has sold over 4500 copies. Over 75% of sales are by word-of-mouth and most buyers make repeat purchases - which tells us that they really like the books.

The books are successful because they are collections of "tried and true" favourite recipes - interesting, easy food made with ingredients most people have in their homes. In addition they are professionally written and edited by Tui Flower, clearly laid out, and have easy to use indexes. No wonder people buy more than one copy.

The second book, Befores & Afters, was entered in the TVNZ Marketing Magazine Awards 1994, where it won its class "Small Business - Established" and was runner up to Phillips for the Supreme Award against such corporate giants as Lion Breweries, Countrywide Bank and Group Rentals.

Personal Experiences

"Your donation of $500 was the most wonderful spark for our group of parents. It was the first donation received and it made them feel that anything was possible."

Christine Musgrave, TOTS Special Needs Language Trust


"The Special Education Service conference was a great success: both for the parents who attended and as an opportunity for professionals to hear from parents ... I certainly felt it was an excellent way to ensure [that] your vision for advocacy in education was put into practice."

Sue Brown, IHC Advocacy Centre, Wellington


"Without help from you and others as generous as yourself, we would not be able to progress with the Johansson method that has been proven such a benefit to our children."

Michelle Ramsay, TOTS Special Needs Language Trust


"On behalf of the families I work with, we just want you to know how much we value the work able to be done because of the Rebecca Hulst Trust."

Jane Gibson, IHC Family & Child Support Service, Tauranga