A mother and son's simple act of festive kindness has inspired a nationwide effort to deliver Christmas cards to the elderly.
Hannah Rodgers, a resident on Auckland's North Shore, was completing a "100 Days of Kindness" challenge with her 5-year-old son, Jayden when the idea occurred.
"Last week we decided to write a Christmas card to an elderly person who might be lonely, and I thought it was such a nice idea so I posted it on our community page. It got an overwhelming response."
For the past week, Rodgers and hundreds of others across the country have been busy crafting and writing cards for elderly in rest homes.
There's thousands being written, Rodgers said, and the movement is growing every day.
Boxes have been set up in various communities for anyone to drop off a card.
"There's about 15 drop-off boxes set up in Auckland, and now they're being set up in Hamilton, Christchurch and Dunedin."
Rodgers was in tears when she got off the phone with a local rest home on Tuesday, who told her 45 out of 55 residents would love to receive Christmas cards.
"Every rest home I've spoken to has been so grateful, and said least 50 per cent of their residents don't receive any cards or visitors."
Yesterday Jayden came home with 20 cards stuffed in his backpack after his Kauri Park Primary School class dedicated time to craft them.
"He understands the impact it will have on their lives. He woke up this morning and said, 'Mum we need to write more cards, can we get the cards out?'"
Posts on the Facebook page Rodgers set up, Sending Love - Christmas Cards for those Alone this Christmas, detail the card-making process.
One woman committed to writing 20 cards, but made 100 instead. Children have drawn pictures inside their cards, of sleighs and Santa.
Jayden encourages "lots of kisses and hugs" at the bottom.
"It's really easy to be unaware of people in our community that don't have anyone because you don't see it. But I think if every single person could write just one card, imagine the impact that could have," Rodgers said.
"It's just about giving someone a sense of love and saying there is someone thinking about you."
Rodgers said she felt people had a connection to the cause, as it was personal, and "a bit
different from putting a gold coin in a bucket".
Local drop-off boxes can be found on the Facebook page, but Rodgers said the more boxes the better.
"We need people to set up drop-off boxes in their communities, then contact me and I'll put a photo up of where the box is located."
She said when writing cards for the elderly, to make sure it was filled with love and to keep envelopes unsealed to leave it to rest homes' discretion to check cards if they chose.
Ryman Healthcare spokesman David King said it sounded "like a lovely idea".
"Who wouldn't like to receive a card from someone who'd put so much thought into it?"