As temperatures across the nation are dropping, Auckland charity Foster Hope is warming up for its annual Pyjama Drive. The aim is to collect a minimum of 1000 pairs of pyjamas to give to foster children and adolescents aged 0 to 18 years.
Foster Hope chairperson Louise Allnutt says many children entering care may never have owned a pair of new pyjamas.
"Buying a pair of pyjamas is a simple thing that most people can afford to do. We want to give children in need a pair of pyjamas so that they can go to sleep knowing someone cares about them."
Foster Hope was set up in 2010 to provide children going into foster care with everyday items like clothing, underwear, nappies, toothpaste and shampoo. These items are put into backpacks and given to youngsters on arrival in their new foster homes.
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"Because they've been whipped away from their home so quickly, kids usually come with little or no belongings. Those who do have some clothes with them usually carry them in a rubbish sack," says Louise. "We set up Foster Hope because we want these children to know that someone cares. No child should be made to feel like their belongings are rubbish and caregivers should be able to focus on the emotional needs of a child, rather than having to run around doing last minute shopping."
Last year's inaugural pyjama drive collected more than 1000 pairs of pyjamas. This year's drive runs from now until the end of June.
HOW TO HELP
If you would like to donate a set of pyjamas or other children's goods, visit: Foster Hope for details of what is needed and a list of nationwide drop off points.
Or email Louise Allnutt at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out how to become a foster parent, call (09) 625 0550 or see: www.barnardos.org.nz