Warriors bring joy and jammies to Kidz First

There was sheer delight on the faces of grateful tamariki at Kidz First yesterday as members of the One New Zealand Warriors team turned up in support of the hospital’s annual ‘Jammies for June’ drive.

It was the high point in what’s been a big week in the campaign – which aims to put warm pyjamas on 15,000 children in the Counties area as winter really sets in.

The initiative by Kidz First – South Auckland’s Children’s Hospital - and the Middlemore Foundation has been gathering pace in recent years and Health NZ Counties staff, the Warriors and the public are seriously getting in behind the idea.

As the Warriors team members mixed it up with young patients in the Kidz First playroom handing out pyjamas, the key ambassador for Jammies for June, Dame Valerie Adams was also busily entertaining and laughing with sick kids and telling us how important this drive is for children going home to cold and damp houses.

“I’ve seen it myself in these neighbourhoods,” said Dame Valerie, “and the difference just warm nightwear can make in preventing children getting winter infections is so important.

“We are currently sitting at 7000 pairs of PJs, so let’s get at it and collect another 8000 as soon as we can.”

Yesterday’s event capped off a very gratifying week in the Jammies campaign: Kidz First’s Clinical Director Dr Richard Matsas has been spreading the word on multiple television interviews and at the Warriors game last weekend volunteers clad in their bright Jammies regalia and carrying buckets moved through the crowd and raised $18,000.

“It’s huge,” said the head of the Middlemore Foundation, Margi Mellsop. “I think this year we are going to break some records.”

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