This Christmas, a number of children waking up alone in hospital would give anything to wake up with their family instead. RMHC New Zealand is asking for your help to make this happen by giving families the gift of quality time together over the holiday season.

Giving the gift of time this Christmas will help RMHC New Zealand ensure families can enjoy Christmas traditions together, away from home, even if they are unable to leave hospital over the celebratory break.

“We want to ensure that on Christmas morning Kiwi families with a child in a hospital away from home can be by their side, celebrate together and have a special moment to treasure,” says Chief Executive Officer of RMHC New Zealand Wayne Howett.

From the 24th December 2019 through to the 31st January 2020, RMHC New Zealand will provide over 3,500 nights’ accommodation to over 500 families at a cost of more than $400,000. With more and more families requiring this service every year, RMHC New Zealand asks us to think of these families who are in need of food, accommodation, and – most importantly – time, with every second spent together making a difference.

“Families staying with us tell me over and over that the thing they value the most is being so close to their child while they are undergoing treatment. The gift of time will make a huge difference to the families of unwell children. Instead of an extra couple of stocking stuffers, give something back this Christmas, and buy a Christmas meal for a family with a hospitalised child to enjoy for $35”, continues Howett.

“Let’s remember the importance of family above all else this festive season and hope for presence rather than presents for those who need it the most.”

You can give families the gift of time together and make a donation now by visiting

  • $20 can delight a child with a present to open on Christmas morning
  • $35 can buy a family a heart-warming Christmas meal together
  • $140 provides a night of accommodation ensuring a family has a warm, safe place to wake up together, close to their child’s hospital

RMHC New Zealand has created a digital narrative titled “The Unwrappable Gift”, to support the campaign. Featuring Jack – a Christmas elf – as the lead character, the emotive story holds focus on the intangibility of time, providing key messaging to viewers to move away from giving materialistic items as gifts this year.

Providing families a “home-away-from-home”, RMHC New Zealand offers a safe haven for families to retreat to after facing the clinical world of medicine. From Christmas Day through to the New Year, nearly 150 families will use the service free of charge.


The Unwrappable Gift

What is the greatest gift you can give? Join Jack as he discovers the secret behind ‘The Unwrappable Gift’… then please share this far and wide and help us keep Christmas special for families with a child in a hospital away from home. #keepingfamiliesclose

Posted by Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand on Monday, November 18, 2019



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