Where should I take donations?
There are eight branches throughout New Zealand so by clicking on your region you will see a range of drop off points around that area. Our regular drop off points take items to go inside our backpacks, new pyjamas and new Christmas gifts. In some regions we have clothing drop off points for new and good quality 2nd hand clothing and our “clothing angels” will sort, pack and distribute these items directly to social workers throughout the year.
Why do you only accept new pyjamas in your annual PJ Drive?
One of the reasons is that many of these children have never had a brand new pair of their very own pyjamas and knowing that someone has shopped especially for them is a huge boost to their self-esteem. We want this to be a positive experience as some foster children tend to feel like a bit like second hand kids themselves. Anything we can do to help them feel loved and valued is a huge part of what we do.
I would like to get our work place/school/community group involved, how can we help?
We would love you to, please refer to our “Support Us’ page, or get in touch with your local branch co-ordinator on “Contact Us’ to see how you can get involved.
How do the backpacks get distributed?
We supply backpacks to many agencies, for example Oranga Tamariki, Grandparents raising Grandchildren, Open Home Foundation and Barnardos. As we are completely dependent on both monetary and product donations, we strive to make up as many backpacks. If you are with an agency based in one of our regions and would like packs, please contact us with your details.
Can I distribute backpacks within my area?
We have eight branches around the country and make up all the backpacks from these bases. If you are outside one of our regions, please contact us and we will see if we are able to arrange transport to send you backpacks from your nearest branch.
Do you need clothes for the backpacks?
We do collect new and good quality second hand clothing which is distributed out to agencies. Some branches have their own “clothing angels” who sort, wash, pack and distribute these items. We only accept donations of underwear and socks if they are brand new.
Can second hand items be donated?
Yes, as long as they are in excellent condition, not marked/stained and with no names written on them. It is very important that they come from a smoke free home.
Do you take DVDs?
Yes, children’s DVD’s not adult.
Do you take car seats?
Yes, as long as they ARE IN DATE (very important that they must be less than 5 years old).
Do you ever get feedback from the children?
At a pack drop off, where 3 young girls had just come into care, one young girl ran off to another room just as I came in the door. She was afraid that I was there to take them away. The carer was lovely and explained I was there to drop off things they might needed. A few minutes later the young girl, who had been watching from a doorway, as I quietly explained to her sister about the pack, ran back into the room and snatched the tooth brush from her sister saying: “I get it first” It turned out that they had never had a new toothbrush each and had been sharing one before coming into care, taking daily turns to use it. When I explained that there was a backpack for each of them she was completely silent and sat rocking with tears in her eyes. Later the carer called and said that this was a turning point for that young girl who said that she “didn’t think anyone really cared for her until she got the backpack.” As the carer put it “It was just that someone who wasn’t being paid cared about kids like her, that really made her think that life could get better and now she has stopped wanting to run away.”
On another occasion, one young man who we gave a quilt to wrote a thank you to say, “No one ever thought so much of me that they gave me something that they done themselves.”