This isn’t the first time Sid Patel has invested in the future of his community. The hotel and supermarket owner has previously donated bicycles, tablets, and smartphones to students at Christmas, as well as tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of desktop computers for the primary school library. Beyond Kawhia, where Patel manages his KBeez supermarkets, he regularly donates food and supplies to children in towns throughout the Waikato District, including care packages of school supplies and stationery at the beginning of each year.
It’s further inspiring to learn of Patel’s own struggles with education as a teenager growing up in Fiji. He is dyslexic and reportedly cannot read or write, causing him to spiral into depression at a young age. Speaking with 1 News in 2015, he explains how this formative background fuels his generosity to young people, to give everyone the best chance at achievement: “I said to the kids, I’m not really rich, I’m not a millionaire. I’m an average person. All I did was, I didn’t buy my boat, I didn’t buy my motorcycle this year, and I’ve given it all to you. So please make use of it!”
From 2013 to the present, Santa Sid’s remarkable legacy of giving remains intact.