Help Our Children Stay Warm This Winter
In coming months, thousands of children in our community will get sick and many will end up in hospital with illnesses that are easily preventable.
Living in damp, mouldy, cold and overcrowded homes hugely impacts the health of these children. Often the families can’t afford heating, have to share beds and don’t have basics like adequate warm clothing.
Cold homes can lead to asthma, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections and even rheumatic fever. A recent study showed that Auckland children living in the poorest areas – including parts of our region - have a 36 times higher rate of contracting rheumatic fever.
Our new Healthy Homes Initiative aims to give children a much warmer winter and reduce preventable diseases. The initiative provides families with home insulation, curtains, heating, beds, home maintenance and repairs, and advice on ventilation, mould removal and sleeping arrangements for children.
This is a great start, but for the 2,400 children living in the coldest, dampest homes in our local community, even something as small as a blanket or a pair of pyjamas is enough to spare them from having to be rushed to hospital with illnesses that can be easily prevented by keeping warm.
Last year, the Timaio family received a pair of pyjamas for each of their six children, ranging in age from 3 months to 11-years-old, from kind donations to the Well Foundation.
Nurse Annette Temptest who delivered the pyjamas to the family says, “With six growing children, it’s hard for these hard working parents to keep up and make ends meet. The smiles on these kids’ faces and the sheer excitement when I delivered the pyjamas was priceless; something so simple has made a big difference to their lives.”
If enough people donate, we can buy a bulk load of blankets and PJs for the community health teams to hand out to those most in need.
Blankets and pyjamas were purchased last year for 400 children in the Waikato and only five of them returned to hospital. We are hopeful that proactive initiatives like this will show a huge drop in hospital admissions for preventable illnesses in our community as well.
Your continued support makes all the difference to these children.