News Release

As Temperatures Drop, Church Donates New Winter Pyjamas for Kiwi Kids

Employees and missionaries from the Church presented around 200 sets of new pyjamas and underwear to foster care charity

Representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Pacific Area Office met on Wednesday 23 June with Louise Burnie, chairperson of local charity Foster Hope.

Justin Neoiti and Yvonne Rameka, representing Auckland-based employees and missionaries from the Church, presented around 200 new sets of pyjamas and underwear for children and youth, which were donated by staff at the Church’s Pacific head offices in Takapuna.

Foster Hope provides support and care to young people who are preparing to go into a new foster home.

There are over 6,000 children currently in foster care in New Zealand, many of whom must leave their homes with only the clothes on their back or their belongings in a plastic rubbish bag.

Yvonne Rameka, who works in the Church’s Welfare & Self Reliance Department, led the pyjama project for the office. She explained why the group decided to do the project.

Yvonne Rameka and Maria Talamaivao from the Pacific Area Office load packages of new pyjamas and underclothes headed for donation to Foster Hope in Auckland, New Zealand. June 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“The thing that attracted me to them [Foster Hope] were their values: hope for something better, love without boundaries, support without judgement and kindness within communities,” Rameka said. “I believe these values are aligned with what we believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – loving our neighbour.”

Justin Neioti, who leads the Church’s Pacific Area Support Services Department, said, “This project was a perfect opportunity to serve others.”

“Every year we run our new pyjama drive leading up to winter,” Louise Burnie said.

“One of the reasons that we do this is that many of these children have never had a brand new pair of their very own, 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 children in care can feel 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.”

Foster Hope is a Charitable Trust dedicated to helping children as they arrive in foster care by providing backpacks of essential items to give comfort as they transition to their new homes. It was started in 2010 by two dedicated women from Auckland, and now has branches throughout New Zealand.

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