Rock News

Timaru tradie builds tiny home in 24 hours, raises over 200k for Mike King’s ‘I Am Hope'

A legendary effort for a legendary cause
14 November 2022 5:09PM

A tradie from Timaru has raised over $200,000 for Mike King’s mental health charity ‘I Am Hope’ after building a tiny home in just 24 hours and auctioning it off. 

On Friday morning James South, a 25-year-old builder, set out to construct a two-bedroom, 63-squared metre home in just sixty hours and then sell it off to fundraise for ‘I Am Hope’. The young legend and his team of 50 volunteering legends managed to get it done thirty-six hours ahead of schedule, meaning they spent just 24 hours going from nothing to a liveable home. 

James said the monumental effort was made easy because the community helped out and everyone who volunteered worked together. 

“Everyone came together and people did whatever jobs they were asked to do. There were no egos,” he told Stuff.

“A massive thank you to everyone who came down to support us and for donating money, supplies, and materials. It wouldn’t be possible to do this without all of that.”

A day after the build was complete the house went to auction. Karen and David Ellis, also Timaru residents, bought James’ creation for a whopping $210,000 - all of which will go to ‘I Am Hope’ in an effort to improve mental health awareness and support in New Zealand. 

James, Karen and David have all been affected by mental health which is why they went above and beyond to help out. 

“I battled through my teenage years with depression and anxiety and more real help is needed,” James said. 

Karen and David’s son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 which changed his and his parents’ lives forever. Ever since then Karen has had a keen interest in supporting those in need. 

“With all the issues we went through we saw this home as an awesome opportunity to help others,” she said to Stuff. “Anything people do for mental health, we would support because of everything we’ve been through.”

“We’re always told about the lack of funds for mental health. If we can help in any way we will. It’s also about giving people and their families hope.”