A group of senior pupils at Rotorua Primary School are donating some of their most beloved stuffed toys so children experiencing hardship can receive a gift this Christmas.

About 25 pupils came up with the idea while discussing ways they could contribute to their community.

Love Soup Rotorua was the charity of choice and founders Gina and Elmer Peiffer went to the school on Tuesday to collect the gifts.

Principal John Naera said it was important to the school to make children into socially conscious citizens.


"The pupils often do projects to give back to the community, ranging from fundraising for a charity to cleaning up streams and waterways. It depends on what is topical at the time.

"The children are seeing the issue of homelessness so this is their way of giving back and making a difference."

Mr Naera said the pupils wanted to ensure children experiencing hardship had as close to a normal Christmas as possible.

"The soft toys these children have donated are not ones that have been discarded for years, in most cases they are still very much loved with some of the children holding on to them until the very last minute."

Mrs Peiffer said they were amazed by the generosity of the children.

"It is amazing how caring and nurturing these children are and how willing they are to help those in need," Mrs Peiffer said.

Year 6 pupils Renata Williams, 11, and Niniurangi Hohepa, 11, said they wanted to do something to help.

"We talked about what we could do and decided we wanted to donate some of our toys," Niniurangi said.

"It's sad some kids our age don't have a home, it made us feel lucky to have a home to go to. We wanted to do something that would give those kids something to smile about," Renata said.