19 Jun 2018
jason valentine burt

He's been a supporter of Variety – the Children's Charity for close to nine years now, and Jason Valentine-Burt wouldn't have it any other way.

As dedicated as can be, Jason volunteers around 30 hours of his time each and every week, without fail, to run the Variety Book Fair – and he has done so for the past three years.

Having worked in the education sector for some 25 years, including eight of those as a principal, finding a way to give back and improve the lives of children across the country was a no-brainer for Jason once he retired from his career.

"It's just a good fit for me. After I retired as a school principal I really wanted to find another way to contribute. Kids have been my life forever, it's all I've ever done," he says.

"I'm very fortunate to be in the position that I am to be able to give back in this way."

Jason sells books year-round on both TradeMe and Fishpond – but he doesn't just list them online and leave them be. He's active in all kinds of Facebook community groups in a bid to get the best price possible for each and every book, so more Kiwi kids can benefit.

"It's worth it. Kids are worth it," says Jason.

And it's not just the online book sales Jason pours his time into, each and every school holiday break he holds a three-day children's book fair in Avondale which people can visit and pick up books at a great price – and for a great cause.

Having grown up in a family of book lovers and publishing, Jason says it’s only fitting that his life has come full circle and that he now spends his time sorting through books, similar to what he used to do in his own school holidays growing up.

"Books are in the blood."

All of the books Jason sells, with proceeds being donated to Kiwi kids in need through Variety, are books that have been donated. If you have books of your own to donate, we would love to hear from you!

Having collectively raised around $45,000 in the past three years for Variety, Jason has set the ambitious target of raising $35,000 for the next year alone, which would be a fabulous outcome for Kiwi kids in need.