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Superheroes come in many different shapes and sizes at New Zealand Red Cross. Some superheroes wear capes, but Will wears running shoes and is using his powers to make a difference.
Will Tran’s parents fled the Vietnam War and were eventually resettled in New Zealand in 1979 as refugees.
Will was born in New Zealand, growing up with a love for rugby and his country, but has always been aware of where his parents came from, their hard work and the opportunity refugee resettlement provided them.
When Will saw photos of Alan, the three-year-old Syrian boy, who drowned on the beach in Turkey as his family attempted to make it to safety, he was reminded of his parents’ perilous journey and his own 19-month-old son.
“I thought I had to do something. Volunteering was going to be tricky as I don’t have much time on my hands. So, I thought ‘What else can I do? I can run!” he says.
Will’s superpower is his ability to run long distances - he decided he’d run to raise money for refugees. Last year, he challenged himself to run 400km in three months by participating in different running events around the country, and raised $2,200. This year, Will got in touch with us again and said “I have itchy feet! I think I’ll join Team Red Cross for the Auckland marathon again. Is it too late?”.
By setting up an online page, friends, family, colleagues and even strangers have been donating to support him in his latest ambitious challenge. All funds raised will go to New Zealand Red Cross, supporting vulnerable communities in New Zealand and overseas.
“The world seems so hard with many problems. Can I do something? Is donating $10 worth it when you see the scale of the problem? Yes, it is. Every dollar counts.” Will says.