Christmas has come early for 21 children’s hospitals and wards across New Zealand, with the 2018 Countdown’s Kids Hospital Appeal raising $1.2 million for much-needed items, such as new equipment or upgraded facilities for patients.
The hospitals’ wish-lists, which included diabetes monitors and sensory play equipment, incubators and brand new playgrounds, aim to help improve the lives of sick children from Northland to Invercargill.
Ruth Krippner, Chair of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal Trust, says “Every year, we are absolutely overwhelmed with the generosity of New Zealanders, who continue to dig deep for thousands of children and teens who are forced to spend days, weeks or even months in hospital. Countdown, our team members, hospitals, patients and their families are truly grateful for the support we continue to receive.
“Some of the new equipment we’re able to fund this year will make a critical difference to the lives of children and their families, such as an EEG monitor for Kidz First Children’s Hospital. Other facilities, like the upgraded outdoor play and recuperation area for Whakatane Hospital, will be hugely beneficial for young people in the area who are accessing mental health services,” says Krippner.
All Countdown stores get behind the annual appeal, holding events like a group charity walk through Auckland, a head shave in Morrinsville, a famous quiz night in Napier and a competitive car rally in Christchurch.
“It was fantastic to see so many exciting fundraising events led by local Store Managers. Many of our team had never organised events like this before and were rewarded with a lot of public involvement and support,” says Krippner.
Since the Countdown’s Kids Hospital Appeal was first launched in 2007 a total of $12.8 million has been raised for sick Kiwi kids and teens. In the coming weeks, cheque presentations will take place across the country to present the participating hospitals with funds from this year’s appeal.
For more information on the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal, visit: www.countdown.co.nz/countdownkids