The Give a Kid a Blanket Rotorua initiative has wrapped up with 450 donations from the community.

Co-ordinator Debbie Cobby says it is still tallying the final numbers but she has counted 450 blankets with more to be collected.

In its second year, the response to the appeal had been fantastic, she says.

"Last year we got 313 blankets so I am absolutely overwhelmed. It has been absolutely amazing everyone has been so generous and supportive who have wanted to help us out."


A lot of different businesses, work places and organisations had also started up their own collections.

"We have got a lot of good quality used blankets, older style woollen blankets and new blankets."

Debbie says the blankets will go to a number of charities and organisations in Rotorua which support the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children.

Organisations included Plunket, Women's Refuge, Love Soup, Salvation Army, Oranga Tamariki —Ministry for Children, Visions of a Helping Hand and Stand Services.

"It's a great cause and has created community connections."

She also paid credit to those involved.

"Something like this couldn't be done without the support of the volunteers and collectors so I am very grateful to them, and it couldn't be done without the generosity of the community and their spirit in getting behind it."

Garden of Life Early Childhood Education donated some blankets.


Teacher Seynia Watene-Kidwell says at the centre they sing a song called Aroha is Love.

"The words are so true. If we give our aroha away it comes right back. We have some lovely friends who knit blankets for our tamariki and because we had extra we gave to the appeal.

"Our kaupapa is to encourage tamariki to be thoughtful and develop compassion towards the community and each other."

Love Soup Rotorua co-founder Elmer Peiffer says Give a Kid a Blanket Rotorua is filling a need and a great cause.

"Rotorua is one of the few cities I have lived in where stuff like this happens all the time. Everybody is just trying to pitch in and help anyway they can. At Love Soup we rely predominantly on donations from the community and the community just steps up to the plate."

Give a Kid a Blanket
- Initiative started in Auckland in 2015.
- Second collection in Rotorua has just finished.
- Aimed to provide kids and families living in damp housing, cars, garages and sleepouts with a warm blanket.
- Give a Kid a Blanket Rotorua has a Facebook page.