Gifts for sick kids

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

Chil­dren in long-term care at Palmer­ston North Hospi­tal are to get an ex­tra cheer-up courtesy of five se­nior Awat­apu Col­lege stu­dents.

Janae Brown, Jodie Evans, He­len Liu, Ivy Na­cion and Teuila Nosa, all year 12, spent more than four months rais­ing $1500 to pro­vide 100 pa­tient ac­tiv­ity packs for the chil­dren’s ward. Fifty of the packs are tar­geted at teens and the other half at chil­dren.

On Fri­day they pre­sented the colour­ing and read­ing ma­te­rial to chil­dren’s ward staff for dis­tri­bu­tion to pa­tients whose hospi­tal stay is pro­longed.

The gift had its origins in a Massey Uni­ver­sity Young Women In Lead­er­ship course the five young women at­tended in Fe­bru­ary.

The work­shop chal­lenged them to de­sign and com­plete a com­mu­nity project.

‘‘We had to come up with an idea in sup­port of the com­mu­nity, and we all wanted to do some­thing for chil­dren,’’ Teuila said.

Charge nurse Tracy Stone said the girls in­volved hospi­tal staff from the be­gin­ning, find­ing out what was needed be­fore pro­ceed­ing with the project.

The first re­cip­i­ent of a pack was Tama Smith, 6, just out of the op­er­at­ing the­atre.

‘‘This is go­ing to be so ap­preci- ated by the kids here,’’ Stone said.

Call­ing them­selves the Chil­dren’s Ward Fun Rais­ers, the girls earned the money through school bake sales and opened a Givealit­tle page.

‘‘The school coun­cil con­trib­uted from mufti days and we also re­ceived $155 in anony- mous do­na­tions,’’ Teuila said.

He­len praised the way the whole school sup­ported their en­deav­our by bak­ing, do­nat­ing and buy­ing cakes.

‘‘Awat­apu is open to start­ing groups like this,’’ she said.

The $1500 tar­get was reached when the Palmer­ston North Youth Coun­cil chimed in with $854.

The next stop was to ne­go­ti­ate a deal with Whit­coulls.

‘‘They were on board with the idea and gave us a very, very good price,’’ Teuila said. ‘‘They were awe­some.’’ Teacher An­gela Povey said the girls came up with all the ideas and solved all the prob­lems.

‘‘Any­thing I sug­gested, they’d al­ready thought of. They’ve just been so good.’’

The five were hop­ing their ex­pe­ri­ence would in­spire next year’s crop of ‘‘young lead­ers’’ at Awat­apu.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Awat­apu’s Young Women In Lead­er­ship alumni and Chil­dren’s Ward Fun Rais­ers He­len Liu, Ivy Na­cion, Janae­and Teuila Nosa present a sta­tion­ary pack to Tama Smith, 6, in Palmer­ston North Hospi­tal’s chil­dren’s ward.

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