- By Georgia Whitehead, AUT University Journalism Student
East Auckland locals are being urged to step up to help make the Middlemore Foundation’s ‘Jammies in June’ campaign a success as more jammies are still urgently needed.
While nearly 1500 pairs of jammies have been donated along with enough monetary donations to purchase 1000 more pairs, Middlemore Foundation chief executive Margi Mellsop says it’s not enough to meet demand.
The initiative encourages the public to give what they can and provides warm pyjamas, blankets, beanies, socks and slippers to children in need in South Auckland.
The Middlemore Foundation says ongoing impacts of Covid-19, low immunity and the rising cost of living have affected too many children’s physical well-being in New Zealand.
The warm-up appeal has never been so vital, “as the winter months get colder, winter illnesses are starting to set in … there is concern this will result in more children needing hospital-level care”, Mellsop says.
Kidz First paediatric specialist Rebecca Alekzander adds: “Living in cold, damp houses with limited warmth means increased susceptibility to winter illnesses.
“The support Middlemore Foundation provides to vulnerable whanau in our community is invaluable and Jammies in June is a big part of that.”
Howick businesses have got behind the initiative with both The Secret Garden Preschool and Crawford Medical Centre serving as drop-off points.
The preschool’s manager, Sheryl Dale, says it’s seen an overwhelming outpouring of support from residents.
“It is just incredible how the east Auckland community has come together and supported the cause,” says Dale.
“There’s a lot of families who are doing it tough and it is such an easy thing to do that is quite tangible than giving a monetary donation.”
Crawford Medical manager Cindy Versace also acknowledges the community’s generosity and says her office is overflowing with donations.
People who are interested in supporting the appeal can donate online at www.middlemorefoundation.org.nz or can arrange a time to drop off pyjamas and any other warm sleep attire at one of the east Auckland drop-off points.