Ten-year-old Lewis* and 9-year-old Jake* have had to share a bed with their mother, Holly*, since they were babies.
The only furniture in their "bedroom" is a thin mattress on the floor.
Holly struggles every week to make ends meet. New beds, or even new bed linen, are completely out of reach.
"Lewis said to me the other day, 'Wouldn't it be nice mum, if we had our own room, with drawers to put our clothes in, and bunks, so that our friends could come and sit in our room and play games with us.' I broke down and cried when he said that, because I know I can't afford to buy them," she said.
More than one in 10 children in our poorest communities don't have their own beds. They're sharing one with others or sleeping on the floor.
The Variety Children's Charity has launched its Warm Hearts Winter Appeal to help provide proper beds and cosy bedding for these disadvantaged Kiwi kids.
Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Taylor said the appeal is in response to the needs the charity is seeing on a daily basis.
"I think we have an expectation that in New Zealand all children have opportunities and access to everything that our country provides, however, that is not the case for many children in our community," she said.
"Winter can be a really expensive time of the year for families, where they are struggling to make ends meet – trying to heat a home, trying to put food on the table, trying to provide for their children in terms of keeping them warm – is a really challenging time.
"So parents and families are going without basic essentials such as beds, warm clothes, and school uniforms."
Funds raised by the Warm Hearts Winter Appeal will help provide beds and bedding for 300 Kiwi kids facing hardship.
For just $47 you can fund a bedding pack for an infant, while $105 will fund a bedding pack for a child; with mattress, sheets, blanket and duvet.
The larger sum of $450 provides a child with their very own bed plus a bedding pack, while $900 will provide bunk beds and bedding for two siblings.
The impacts of cold, damp sleeping conditions:
Donations to the appeal will also go towards winter clothes and help with medical costs.
Dr Alison Leversha, a community paediatrician at Auckland District Health Board, said about 15,000 children are admitted to hospital with a housing related condition each year.
"They may be bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and in the hospital what we tend to see is young babies who have a virus or cold.
"And some of those children we see will be admitted three or four times over the winter."
Leversha said one of the health impacts of poor housing conditions is our immune systems don't work as well.
"So we are more likely to get infection and to take a long time to recover."
Overcrowding also leads to the easier spread of bugs, she said.
Leversha said long-term impacts include recurrent infections and chronic respiratory disease.
"New Zealand has third world levels of bronchiectasis (a lung condition), and rheumatic fever, and both of those are known to be associated with household crowding and not being warm and dry."
She said studies show that healthier homes result in a reduction in GP visits, medication required and hospitalisations.
"There is also potential saving as far as improving school attendance and achievements, and economically because parents don't have to keep taking time off work."
Kiwi Kids Sponsorship:
While the Warm Hearts Winter Appeal targets winter needs, donors can also support kids with basic essentials like school uniforms and shoes, and access to important life opportunities such as school camps and swimming lessons - through the Variety sponsorship programme.
Taylor said there are currently over 400 children on the waiting list for Kiwi Kids Sponsorship.
"If somebody is interested in sponsoring a child, they can simply go on to the Variety website and select a child that they would like to sponsor.
"Those funds are managed by Variety and we then provide the exact items that the child needs. We know that not all children need exactly the same thing, so that is where our programme provides for those individual children," she said.
South Auckland single-father Daniel Brown's two sons Eruwera, 8 and Niko, 5, have both benefited from this sponsorship.
In articles earlier this year, Brown spoke about his struggle to afford school uniforms, stationery or sports fees for his two boys.
Brown is studying full-time at the Manukau Institute of Technology in fabrication and engineering and he and the boys live off a $370-per-week student loan.
So when both boys were sponsored by the Kiwi Kid sponsorship programme, it took a lot of stress away from the struggling family.
The sponsorship covers school uniforms and supplies, as well as extra-curricular activities so the boys could join sports teams.
"It's taken a whole load off my shoulders - to know they've got the stuff to attend school," Brown said.
"It just means that I get to see them smile a bit more."
Pene Frost, regional manager at Stand Children's Services, said Variety also provides its social workers with options of supporting children in need.
"Recently one of the social workers was working with a grandma that had four children in her care. The children were sleeping on the floor," she said.
"Variety gave us the opportunity to offer beds to this grandma and immediately her whole world changed.
"She was so happy that her grandchildren were going to have these beds - the whole house actually got reordered and tidied.
"There is such pride for the children now as well – those beds are made perfect every day and when the social worker went out she got dragged into the bedroom to see these beds."
To make a donation and provide a bed for a Kiwi kid this winter click here.
* For privacy reasons the family members' names have been changed.