The New Zealand gang Tribal Huk is receiving media attention, and not in a bad way. Members of the gang, lead by its leader, Jamie Pink, have been doing something incredible for the community for two and a half years now — making sandwiches for hungry schoolchildren attending different schools in Waikato, a region in New Zealand’s North Island.
Members of the Tribal Huk gang don’t just give their spare. The gang’s charitable activity compares to that of a major non-profit. Tribal Huk members make as much as 500 sandwiches a day, all of which are distributed to kids around the schools in their area. The gang hasn’t missed a day of charity, going strong for almost three years now.
Jamie Pink, in an interview with the local Waikato Times, says the gang gets their motivation from being able to help local schoolchildren in Waikato, many of whom are living in poverty.
“The main reason we’re doing this is because there’s a lot of hungry kids out there and it means a lot to be able to fill their little bellies up.”
Establishing a major distance from the typical violence that has been associated with Tribal Huk and other gangs in the country, Pink says giving something nice to the children of the region has proven to be more fulfilling.
“Years ago, I used to just love violence. I loved it probly too much — still do — but this means more. This is better than violence, y’know. It’s a nice thing ta be able ta do.”
Waikato’s schoolchildren have been very appreciative of the gang members’ daily outreach. One child wrote to them, “[Y]our sandwiches are some of the best I have eaten. I know they have been a hit because they are all gone within five minutes.”
Another one wrote, “[W]ithout you sandwich maker, our children will starve at lunchtimes.”
Pink himself has been on the receiving end of gang members’ surprising acts of kindness. Recalling his own childhood experiences, the Tribal Huk’s main man says he and his own family members were fed by gang members when they were too poor to buy food for themselves.
Shortly after Waikato Times broke the heartwarming story last week, thousands of New Zealanders have shown their support for the Tribal Huk’s altruistic acts. Speaking with New Zealand website Stuff, Pink admitted that he was overwhelmed by the outpouring support the Tribal Huk gang has received since their sandwich-giving story made its rounds on the internet.
“I wanna say thank you so much for the support. I’m not sayin’ we’re angels and that, but we’re not bad people. We didn’t expect this.”
Responding to a few skeptics, Pink said that the gang’s feeding movement is not a way for them to get new recruits, adding that if that were the case, the gang is “not worth existing.”
Gangs have been a huge problem in New Zealand for decades. Unofficial numbers claim that New Zealand has the most number of gangs per head than any other country, hosting at least 70 gangs in a population of 4 million. Although violence among different gangs remain a problem in the country, Tribal Huk’s refreshing actions are changing how New Zealanders perceive its members.
[Image from Waikato Times]