It can be a scary time for a child moving into foster care, which is why charitable organisation Foster Hope exists: to provide necessities for foster children to ease their transition into care.
Who is Foster Hope?
Foster Hope's mission is for every child in New Zealand to know that someone out there cares about them.
One of the things they do is make up backpacks to be given to children when they are removed from their homes, with a backpack and a carry-all bag containing toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo etc.) and other items that show them they're loved (like books and soft toys).
One of the other items Foster Hope provide are a pair of pyjamas, and they need as many pairs as they can get their hands on. When these kids have their very own pair of warm PJs, it helps them feel more secure, at a time when they need it most.
How did Trade Me get involved?
At Trade Me, staff member Aqua from our Marketplace team was so inspired to help that she organised donations of pyjamas from her colleagues around the office. Not only that, she contacted Trade Me seller Smartfox who was able to help her source high quality, colourful, and safe pyjamas. Smartfox loved the cause so much that she and her staff also threw in some extra pairs.
Our staff also donated things like bottles of body wash, toothbrushes, shampoo and sanitary items - anything these kids need to get set up for that first week in their new home.
We love what the team at Foster Hope stand for, and we hope to inspire other businesses and everyday Kiwis to get involved.
How could other businesses get amongst the initiative?
Foster Hope run pyjama drives all around New Zealand so no matter where you or your business are, it's easy to get involved.
Aqua's advice is that all it takes is a little bit of effort from one person, and making it easy for others to contribute is the key. She flicked out a few emails, asked for some help, and was amazed watching the piles of pyjamas grow higher.
"My favourite story was a mother who took her son to pick PJs for the kids. He was sad to hear some kids didn't have what he had, so he made a point of finding "the bestest" design so they could enjoy something nice," she said.
"Wearing PJs in the office attracts attention and gets people talking - the silly Instagram and Facebook posts give good coverage on social media. Remember, it just takes one friend to pick up on your post and spread the word - and that's basically what happened here."
How can I get involved?
If you're keen to donate to Foster Hope or are keen to learn more about them, head over to their website for more information.