Lo­cals do­nate warm py­ja­mas

Northern News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - BAY­LEY MOOR

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.

Visit fos­ter­hope.co.nz

‘‘Some may have never had their own pair of py­ja­mas and it's just ba­si­cally show­ing them that we care.’’

Deb­bie Sut­cliffe

BAY­LEY MOOR/FAIR­FAX NZ

Te­gan We­ber and Fos­ter Hope’s Deb­bie Sut­cliffe with a num­ber of the pa­ja­mas col­lected.

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