This week marks the launch of the annual Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, a nationwide fundraising campaign.
Now in its seventh year, the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal has raised more than $5.7 million through locally-led activities.
Funds raised from the Appeal go towards much needed hospital equipment for 10 children's wards throughout New Zealand that may not otherwise have been purchased.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive Phil Cammish said children and babies in the Bay of Plenty had been benefiting from the generosity of Countdown customers for the past four years.
"It is so fantastic having the community involved," he said.
"People know that what they are contributing is actually coming back into their region and making a real difference to the communities they live in and the children in those communities."
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board has been able to purchase more than $300,000 in equipment for the children's wards at both Tauranga and Whakatane hospitals thanks to the appeal.
Bay of Plenty District Health Board midwife leader Margret Norris said it gaves the DHB the opportunity to buy the 'nice-to-haves'.
"With the money raised we have been able to purchase the latest technology for sick children and babies," she said.
"For example the Propaq Monitoring System helps us monitor very unwell children. It alerts the staff to any subtle changes in the condition of the child so that intervention and treatment can be commenced immediately. This not only benefits the families but the staff looking after these little ones."
Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal chairperson Ruth Krippner said you didn't have to be a doctor to make a difference to the lives of children who were unwell.
"Simply show your support through this year's appeal which has lots of fun fundraising activities happening in the Bay of Plenty and throughout the country," she said.
"Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal is all about getting together as a community and doing what we can to support children who need us. At times we can feel a bit helpless because we can't help in the same way doctors can, so it's great that the Appeal helps to fundraise for much-needed equipment for kids," she said.
To donate visit your local Countdown supermarket and donate at the checkout; visit www.countdown.co.nz to make a donation online; or text KIDS to 3066 to make a $3 donation.