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Christina Buckland: Westfield Local Heroes 2019

Child’s hospital visit inspires ongoing acts of kindness

One Mother To Another
Determined. Selfless. Kind

After experiencing fear and stress when her daughter was rushed to hospital, Christina Buckland set out to help other parents through the same experience.

The dispensary technician co-founded One Mother to Another (OMTA), a charitable trust that provides gift packs to mothers and carers of acutely sick children in hospital.

The packs contain practical items such as tea and coffee, something to eat, shampoo and lip balm; and luxuries such as hand cream as well as an empathetic hand-written note. Special packs are made up for Christmas and Mother’s Day.

“We know what a gift bag full of practical, indulgent items and a letter of encouragement would have meant to us during such a vulnerable time,” says Christina, who teamed up with a friend, Joy Reid, to start the charity.

She feels humbled and honoured to be named a Westfield Local Hero.

“It's an amazing confidence boost to have my community vote for me, and to know they value what we are doing,” says Christina.

“We identified a need and have watched One Mother to Another grow slowly into what it is today. I get so much fulfilment knowing that we are helping mums on what might be one of the scariest days of their lives.”

Well-known and respected in the community, Christina spends hours asking businesses for donations, delivering bags and replying to emails.

OMTA delivers more than two thousand packs a year to mothers with a child in neonatal ICU at Christchurch, Nelson or Invercargill hospitals.

Christina’s dream is to reach more mothers and carers at other hospitals.

“Our aim is to relieve some of the stress others are facing and let them know other mothers are thinking of them during this time.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.

OMTA will use its grant to double the number of gift bags it supplies.

“This is a game-changer,” says Christina. “It will help us provide thousands more gift bags and ensure our charity continues for years to come.”

__For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here. __

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