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Nathalie Visser led a local Jammies for June campaign that saw at least 300 children gifted a new set of warm pyjamas. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Warm PJs for Hauraki’s tamariki

At least 300 local tamariki have benefited from a cosy initiative that gifted each child a new set of warm pyjamas for winter.
Inspired by the Middlemore Foundation’s Jammies for June fundraiser, Waihi woman Nathalie Visser took it upon herself to make sure the campaign created a positive impact closer to home.
After purchasing new pairs of pyjamas, Nathalie, who works for Hauraki District Council, approached her colleagues and council chief executive Langley Cavers – and they all came on board to back the campaign, setting up collection points in the district’s libraries and service centres.
The fundraiser grew in size and strength, and by the initiative’s end, almost $1300 was raised from cash donations, and more than 280 pairs of pyjamas were donated.
There were also dressing gowns, bed socks, and blankets donated, too.
“A bit of a roadblock was distribution – finding who could distribute the pyjamas and making sure they were going to the kids that needed them,” Nathalie said. “I managed to get in touch with Plunket and the Hauraki Maori Trust Board… and we were able to identify families in need and they were really happy to get behind it.”
The Hauraki Maori Trust Board, as well as local schools throughout the district, also took part in ‘pyjama days’ to raise funds.
“We only had three weeks because I started a bit late, but the response that we had and what we achieved in those three weeks was just amazing,” Nathalie said.
“You can’t beat getting into a snuggly pair of pyjamas at the end of the day, and I have grandkids now, so I love getting them warm for the night, so it’s really nice to know that there are kids out there that are also going to benefit from this.”
With the almost $1300 in donations, Nathalie was able to head into Postie Plus in Thames to pick up the pyjamas – and she said the store had to outsource the nightwear from all over New Zealand.
Overall, she and the distributors felt like “Santa Claus” giving the children something to snuggle into over winter. They’d love to have another crack at it in 2024, she said.
“There were definitely some learnings from doing it this time round, but we’d love to do it again and perhaps start a bit earlier next year and extend it out to the businesses around the district.
“If we have a little bit more time to run the promotion, we may be able to get even more support.”