Mention Kidz First Children’s Hospital to anyone in Manukau and you’ll soon find out how much it means to them — in this South Auckland suburb, there’s a lot of stories to be told about Kidz First.
Take local mum Wendy, for example, who remembers rushing her baby Aisla to the hospital with suspected meningitis. She arrived panicked and frightened, but recalls the tremendous kindness and calm shown to her by the staff. Aisla was examined and given the all clear a few days later, and their story is just one example of the great work that Kidz First does every day.
The hospital has become a huge part of the local community, but with around 30,000 children coming through the Kidz First Emergency Department’s doors every year, staying fully operational and meeting growing demand is always a challenge.
Sometimes, government funding just isn’t enough to cover their costs. When that happens, people like Middlemore Foundation Public Relations Officer David Kemeys hit the streets to fundraise on behalf of Kidz First.
This year, staff at David’s local Z station encouraged him to get involved with Z’s community fundraising initiative, Good In The Hood. Before he knew it, the Middlemore Foundation and Kidz First Children’s Hospital were represented at Good in the Hood donation stands in six Z stations across Auckland.
David visited each Z site several times during the fundraising period, and couldn’t believe how keen people were to support the Middlemore Foundation. Each time, he met someone new with their own touching story about Kidz First. He recalls being blown away by how much the hospital meant to the people of Manukau.
“It was amazing how many people wanted to stop and have a conversation about their own children having been at Kidz First, or perhaps they themselves had been born in Middlemore,” said David.
“It was very gratifying to have that level of support. And the Z staffers themselves were excellent to us as well.”
The Middlemore Foundation ended up raising nearly $10,000 through Good in the Hood 2017 — money that David says will go towards a dedicated triage centre at the Kidz First Children’s Hospital. The new centre will take care of patients with bumps, scrapes and bruises who don’t require hospital admission, saving time and resources for the kids who need it most.
Kidz First is one of the busiest children’s hospitals in Australasia, and they’re always looking for more people willing to lend a hand. If you’d like to help Kidz First continue to serve its community and improve the lives of thousands of New Zealanders, visit the Middlemore Foundation website to make a donation or volunteer your time.
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