Auckland Airport is giving away $120,000 to Kiwi charities as part of its 12 Days of Christmas initiative. The Herald and Herald on Sunday will profile each recipient.

Knowing exactly what to do when an asthmatic person is having trouble breathing - and knowing not to panic - can help that person hugely and maybe even save their life.

The Asthma Foundation runs regular educational programmes for children in schools all around the Auckland region to make sure youngsters know about the condition and what they need to do if someone needs help.

The foundation is one of a dozen charities which will receive a portion of a $120,000 pie the Auckland Airport is giving away this Christmas. The money is raised thanks to donation globes located around the terminal, in which travellers are encouraged to donate unwanted currency throughout the year.

Asthma Foundation national education services manager Teresa Demetriou said the grant will go towards funding its Sailor The Pufferfish programme in schools. Together with his sidekick Chris, Sailor helps youngsters understand what asthma is.


"He does a bit of dancing, singing and interactive activities with the kids. He teaches them about the triggers of asthma - like dust mites, cold weather, viruses, emotions, animals and stress - and it's really engaging.

"The kids love the show and they're learning a lot as well."

The show is sometimes displayed at business conferences and is always well-received by adults too, Mrs Demetriou said.

Running costs and additional costs for the foundation to get out to various schools around the region means each show costs up to $300.

With the help of the grant, it can get to dozens more schools and therefore send its message to hundreds more New Zealand children.

Auckland Airport spokeswoman Anna Cassels-Brown said they were happy to help a group working to send out a necessary health message to youngsters.

"We are proud to support this brilliant educational initiative that teaches Kiwi kids about asthma and how to look after themselves and others."