A Rotorua woman is hoping a tradition from her birth place can bring a smile to the faces of sick children from throughout New Zealand.

Victoria Lodge owner Julia Portsmouth, along with her infant daughter Nina who was born prematurely on Father's Day, has had to spend many nights away from home in hospital beds.

From her experience has come a desire to share a special day in Brazil with New Zealand.

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"Every year on October 12 we celebrate Children's Day," Mrs Portsmouth said.

"It is a day for children to get spoiled, to receive presents and go to parties and other events.

"I like this day more as an adult than I did as a child as I get to see the excitement and smiles on the faces of my children."

She said, to be fair and with the aim to reduce clutter, she asked her children to select toys they hadn't played with in some time to give to other youngsters.

"We donate them to charities, not only because I know these places really need them, but also because my kids often get second-hand toys from cousins and neighbours and they love them.

"My husband Ryan, who is a Kiwi but has become a Brazilian too, and I get gifts for our children on October 12 and do something special on this day too."

This year Mr and Mrs Portsmouth were apart on Children's Day. Mrs Portsmouth and Nina were at Starship Hospital while Mr Portsmouth and their two sons were at home in Rotorua.

"I was sad we were apart but I wanted to carry on with tradition so I called Ryan and gave him a few ideas about what to get the kids. I also asked him to get the children to separate the toys to give away.


Mrs Portsmouth had already decided to give the toys to Starship Hospital. She said while there was already a great room with lots of toys, she had been reminded about the youngsters who stayed there for long periods and who quickly became bored with the same toys and books.

"I thought about all those children and my own children who have been amazing since our daughter was born and wanted to celebrate them. And by donating toys I feel I am doing that."

The Portsmouths are accepting donations of toys and books to give to Starship Hospital.

If you would like to donate please take your donation to Victoria Lodge at 10 Victoria St, Rotorua before October 30.