A group of dedicated Ko Awatea ‘Christmas elves’ and inpatients from four wards at Counties Manukau Health gathered in the Ko Awatea Centre on Monday 5th December to wrap 350 Christmas gifts for children staying in hospital and in our community units over Christmas. The gifts, which were donated by Ko Awatea staff, will be distributed to children in Kidz First by the Middlemore Foundation.
This is the third year Ko Awatea has held the gift-wrapping event.
Organiser and patient & whānau care advisor, Renee Greaves was thrilled with the response and said, “This event is about bringing Christmas spirit to those patients who may be missing that from their normal routine due to their health.
“It’s about the small things we can do to enhance the experience for our patients, whānau, staff and community at this time of year, and bringing a smile to faces of those in need. Hospital can be a tedious and stressful place for many, and if this can bring a small amount of joy then we have achieved success.”
Ko Awatea wishes to thank the staff and patients who contributed on the day, and those who donated presents, time and decorations. Ko Awatea staff member and ‘Christmas elf’, Cindy Blackwell said, “It was great fun! Looking around the room, it was an experience in togetherness, and I felt the abundance of kindness.”
The Middlemore Foundation’s David Kemeys said the gifts were a blessing. “At this time of year we are always scrambling for presents, and the requests keep rolling in.
“It’s also wonderful to see some of our older patients taking joy from giving their time and helping with the wrapping.”
We are sure there will be many smiles from children and some lovely memories for families in Kidz First due to the Christmas cheer that was spread at this event.