The Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal kicks off today and will run until the end of October.
The nationwide appeal is in its 12th year, raising money for medical equipment for children across the country.
Of the $11.6 million raised since 2007, $1.2 million has been donated to Canterbury DHB's Child Health Division – funds which make a practical difference to the wellbeing of children in its care.
Seven-year old Keira Hubball and her mother Vickie Hamilton were special guests at last week's launch. Keira suffers from a metabolic condition that means she is in a wheelchair and has recently lost her vision, so she is a regular visitor to Christchurch Hospital.
Countdown Group Manager Penny Hardaker says many of its staff have first-hand experience of hospital visits with their children and there is great enthusiasm and determination to raise funds for such a worthy cause.
Penny's own son contracted meningitis as a 2 year old and, after years of follow-up care, she has seen how money raised via community fundraising has enabled the purchase of medical and play equipment to create a better experience for young patients.
This year's appeal will raise funds for medical and play equipment for use throughout the Canterbury Health system.
Clinical Director of Paediatrics at Christchurch Hospital, Clare Doocey, says "the generosity of Countdown staff never fails to amaze and Canterbury DHB greatly appreciates the time and energy they devote to the cause."
The appeal also sparks friendly supermarket competition, as Stuart Coe, Store Manager Countdown Moorhouse Avenue can attest to, "every Countdown store wants to raise the most money for the kids, but we also help and support other stores with organising fundraising events. This year we're doing things like sausage sizzles, cake sales and a fashion show. Because we know the money is going to a local and noble cause it's easy to get strong support from our customers".
Keep an eye out for events that may be happening at a Countdown near you.
The appeal runs until the 31 October.
To make a donation, you can:
visit your local Countdown supermarket and donate at the checkout
visit www.countdown.co.nz to make a donation online
Text KIDS to 3066 to make a $3 donation (charges apply).
Images attached: (1) Countdown Group Manager Penny Hardaker cuts the cake to officially launch the Countdown Kids Appeal at Christchurch Hospital. Watching on is 7-year old Keira Hubball.
(2) Attending the official launch of the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal (L-R) Christchurch Hospital Clinical Director Paediatrics Clare Doocey, Countdown South Island Operations Manager Jo McNaught, Vickie Hamilton and her daughter Keira Hubball, Countdown Group Manager Penny Hardaker and Child Health Service Manager Anne Morgan.
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