Keeping babies snug as bugs

By SARAH MACDONALD, Howick and Pakuranga Times, June 1, 2006

WINTER babies will be warm after a generous woolly donation from an East Tamaki charity.

Auckland, New Zealand -- The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has gifted 200 baby blankets and singlets to Middlemore Hospital’s neonatal unit and post-natal wards.

<< South Auckland Health Foundation officer Nicki Winn was thrilled to receive 200 baby blankets and singlets from (left) Tzu Chi Foundation's May Tsai and George Chan. Photo supplied

“We know sometimes babies don’t have warm clothes when they go home from hospital,” says Tzu Chi Foundation secretary George Chan.

“We give blankets every year, so the babies can be wrapped up.”

South Auckland Health Foundation community relations officer Nicki Winn says donated items add to the hospital’s service.

“We’re thrilled with this wonderful donation from Tzu Chi. Their ongoing and generous support of the South Auckland Health Foundation wool programme is much appreciated.”

The blankets and singlets will be packed up with vests, hats, jackets, bootees and toys knitted by 200 volunteers and given to families in need.

Tzu Chi is an international charitable foundation established in Taiwan in 1966. It now has more than three million members with branches around the world, including New Zealand, which was founded in 1992.

Tzu Chi volunteers focus on bringing global harmony, compassion and peace. The group offers financial and medical assistance to anyone in need, regardless of race, creed and political or religious beliefs when natural disasters strike.

East Tamaki volunteers have fundraised for wheelchairs, incubators and lazy boy chairs for local hospitals.

Impoverished schoolchildren are served breakfast daily and elderly patients in rest homes and hospices are entertained with the help of Tzu Chi.

“We help whenever and however we can,” says Mr Chan. “We have a lot of charitable activities that our members support.”