Dan Welford will be spreading festive cheer at the Christchurch Hospital children’s ward

Encouraging sick children

by Ann van Engelen

Hororata and Leeston residents Dan Welford, Israel Batchelor and Jamie Woods, aim to boost the spirits of children who are in hospital this Christmas.

“We want to give children stuck in a place no person wants to be a bit of a festive boost,” says Jamie.

“We were inspired by our friend Hamish who is currently biking from Christchurch to Bluff raising money for food hampers for families in need.

He is also building a homeless shelter, and we have been helping him,” says Jamie.

“Dan suggested we help children in Christchurch Hospital. I was in Dunedin Hospital as a child, and it is very upsetting when your friends are out playing, and you are stuck in a bed at Christmas. We have permission from the hospital and are raising at least $1,000 to buy the presents.”

The men met through the local rodeo and will be dressing in their cowboy gear.

“We will have Santa and an elf and will put photos on our Facebook page so people who donate can see the smile of these little battlers. I know it’s a difficult time of the year for some, but even one dollar will help make their day a bit better in their time of need.

“If we raise enough money, we will support their siblings too — as they see what family members go through. Hanmer Four Square is donating toys, gifts and lollies and other shops are also contributing. We are so grateful and very excited. We will buy the gifts on December 19, distribute them on December 20 and also have a candle lighting honouring the children that have passed away.

“Any financial help is appreciated as every dollar counts. To donate go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/spreading-christmas-cheer-through-the-childrens? or message us at facebook.com/keepingkidshappy.”