Locals donate warm pyjamas
Hundreds of Northland foster children will wear warm pyjamas this winter thanks to a combined effort with charity Foster Hope, local businesses and the community.
An annual pyjama drive sees Foster Hope - a charity which provides essential items for children in foster care - call for jammies for kids.
Northland co-ordinator Debbie Sutcliffe says just under 600 pairs were collected last year and given out in backpacks which include toiletries, a soft toy and books.
This year more than 800 children entering foster care will receive their own pair of pjs, in the Northland area which Foster Hope covers from Wellsford to Cape Reinga.
Sutcliffe says while they like to collect pyjamas all year round, a winter push helps to keep the kids warm.
‘‘Some may have never had their own pair of pyjamas and it’s just basically showing them that we care. All kids should have their own pyjamas and it’s very sad that there are kids that don’t have that.’’
Whitelaw Weber Ltd marketing assistant Tegan Weber co-ordinated a donation of more than 200 pyjamas to Foster Hope.
She says she saw the initiative on social media and thought the company might be able to donate to 10 pairs.
The goal was expanded to 100, with 100 pairs donated by the wider community, and Whitelaw Weber matching each pair to take the tally to 200, with a donation from CCH taking the tally to 210.
Weber says it blew her mind to be able to collect that amount of pyjamas within a month.
Donations were collected at their Kaikohe, Kerikeri and Kaitaia offices before being handed over to Sutcliffe, who was delighted.
Socks, underwear and other items were also donated.
Sutcliffe says there are about 5000 foster children in New Zealand, and Northland is the third highest area for fostering in the country.
Getting a backpack full of new stuff can help ease the transition for the children, she says.
Foster Hope welcomes all forms of donations and support.
People can help by donating money, collecting healthcare products and school items or just spreading the word through family and friends.
‘‘Some may have never had their own pair of pyjamas and it's just basically showing them that we care.’’
Tegan Weber and Foster Hope’s Debbie Sutcliffe with a number of the pajamas collected.