A small New Zealand company has made a big-hearted donation to the people of flood-stricken Texas aiming to send more than 1000 Pepi-Pods.

The simple beds would give babies evacuated in Hurricane Harvey a safe place to sleep, said Stephanie Cowan from Change for our Children Limited.

The storm has killed at least 44 people in Texas, and forced 32,000 people into shelters since it came ashore last Friday near Rockport on the Gulf of Mexico coast. It was the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in half a century.

The small Christchurch-based social innovation company was behind the nation-wide Pepi-Pod response to the catastrophe.

Cowan said the company would supply of a minimum of 1000 Pepi-Pod baby beds to families in Texas.


"Babies are a particularly vulnerable group in times of natural disaster," Cowan said.

"Hurricane Harvey has tipped thousands of Texan infants into increased risk of sudden infant death by disrupting living and sleeping conditions for their families."

Cowan said it was hard for parents to provide safe sleeping conditions for their babies when fearful, dependent and displaced.

Change for our Children is working with Texan authorities through the University of North Texas (UNT), which has invited the initiative.

"These sleepers are wanted, will be distributed and used," Dr Wendy Middlemiss of UNT said.

Auckland University researcher Professor Ed Mitchell sent a letter of recommendation to the Texan authorities about the life-saving Pepi-Pods.

"The targeted supply of Pepi-Pods to those in need has been a contributing factor in the 30 per cent fall in infant mortality rates that we have seen in our country over the past 5 years," he said. "We recommend these to you in this time of need."

Each pod will be supplied with a mattress, two bottom sheets and a letter of goodwill from the people of New Zealand to the parents of Texas.

A team at Baby First Limited in Christchurch was busy sewing for the project.

"Many people across New Zealand participated in an outpouring of support for Christchurch parents following the 2011 earthquakes, when we initiated a similar response," said Cowan.


"This is a New Zealand response. Hearts melt when it comes to babies. To survive the floods but be lost to a sleep accident is a tragedy we can help prevent in Texas."

A Givealittle page Pods for Texas Babies has been set up to help cover costs for pods and freight.