Py­ja­ma­rama mamma makes col­lec­tion

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS - RICHARD MAYS

Py­ja­mas for fos­ter kids is a project Palmer­ston North nurse Olive Ruby has taken to heart.

For the past cou­ple of years the Mid-Cen­tral DHB in­fec­tion preven­tion and con­trol nurse has been col­lect­ing new pairs of py­ja­mas on be­half of Fos­ter Hope, a char­ity set up in 2010 to ben­e­fit the 5000 New Zealand chil­dren in state fos­ter care.

‘‘The drive is part of a na­tional drive by Fos­ter Hope NZ to give fos­ter kids go­ing into fos­ter care some­thing special that is new.’’

‘‘Of­ten th­ese chil­dren move fre­quently and have very few things to call their own,’’ Ruby said.

‘‘I’ve been do­ing it my­self, but I thought it would be a whole lot bet­ter if other peo­ple helped. If a lot of peo­ple con­trib­uted a lit­tle, then we could put to­gether a rea­son­able col­lec­tion of py­ja­mas.’’

Ruby spread the word, and in just over a fort­night Mid-Cen­tral DHB staff came up with 59 pairs of new py­ja­mas for the chil­dren.

As well as py­ja­mas, staff had also do­nated socks, bea­nies, blan­kets and dress­ing gowns.

‘‘Fos­ter Hope also do back­packs that they fill with things the chil­dren can call their own so they’re not tak­ing their stuff around in a plas­tic rub­bish sack. No child should think they be­long in the rub­bish.’’

Ruby said the na­tional goal was to col­lect 5000 pairs of py­ja­mas this win­ter.

‘‘There is no Manawatu branch of Fos­ter Hope; we’re cov­ered by Welling­ton, but if peo­ple want to con­trib­ute they can drop off new

‘‘No child should think they be­long in the rub­bish.’’ Olive Ruby, Fos­ter Hope

pairs of py­ja­mas to Win­ter­woods Lawyers near Paper Plus on The Square, and to Manch­ester House in Feild­ing.’’

Fos­ter Hope founder Louise All­nutt said the py­jama cam­paign was tak­ing off around the coun­try.

‘‘It’s some­thing peo­ple can get in­volved with re­ally eas­ily - a $10 pair of py­ja­mas.’’

‘‘What lo­cal peo­ple do­nate its passed di­rectly on to lo­cal chil­dren, so we’re not ship­ping stuff all over the coun­try.’’

Some­thing as sim­ple as a new pair of py­ja­mas can have won­der­ful im­pacts on chil­dren’s self­es­teem, as fos­ter kids can tend to feel like they’re sec­ond-hand them­selves.

While Fos­ter Hope is look­ing for nightwear from new­born to 17 years, All­nutt said they are some­times short of pjs for the 12 to 17 age group.

The char­ity also dis­trib­utes do­nated cur­rent carseats, chil­dren’s DVDs, and cloth­ing.

PHOTO: PAULA MCCOOL/ SUPPLIED

Mid­Cen­tral DHB nurse Olive Ruby with some of the do­nated py­ja­mas.

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