A forest of 56 Christmas trees has sprouted in the Wellington Airport terminal to help families living with cystic fibrosis (CF).
Generous businesses, community groups, and individuals have sponsored a tree as part of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Christmas Tree Festival.
CF is the most common life-threatening genetic condition affecting Kiwis, with more than 570 people living with CF in New Zealand.
Life with CF can be especially tough on families at Christmas, with some juggling extra treatment and unplanned hospital stays. They endure a life-long and demanding daily regime of lung clearance and medication, together with regular medical check-ups, hospitalisations, and in some cases, lung transplantation.
Funds raised by the Christmas Tree Festival will help Cystic Fibrosis NZ (CFNZ) continue to provide practical, emotional, and physical support to the CF community, when, where and how they need it through:
- Our team of Social Workers that visit and support families in their homes and medical settings.
- Wrap-around support for parents with a newborn baby.
- Keeping families together during hospitalisations by providing support with parking, meals, and travel.
- Helping with essential expenses to alleviate financial pressure like groceries, additional prescriptions, and power bills.
- Empowering people with CF to manage their condition through the Breath4CF physical exercise grants to support lung health.
- Providing mental health support through counselling to help with resilience and emotional wellbeing.
- Delivering extra comfort and care when it’s needed to families going through transplants and to those who need support with end of life.
Lisa Burns, Chief Executive at Cystic Fibrosis NZ says: “The landscape of CF care in New Zealand is changing, and it has become increasingly clear that although medicines are an important tool and, in some cases, can be life-changing they are not a cure, and they won’t work for everyone.
“This means that the need the services and programmes that CFNZ and our branches provide to our local communities is so important, and this is particularly difficult at Christmas. Funds raised by this festival will enable us to continue deliver on these needs.”
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Wellington Airport, along with our returning and new sponsors, for their unwavering support. Your collective commitment not only makes this festival possible but also speaks volumes about the crucial support for our community.”
Jo Maxwell, Manager Brand and Sponsorship at Wellington Airport says: “This is an important cause we’re proud to support and it’s very popular with travellers. The terminal looks fantastic thanks to our generous sponsors and volunteers.”
Wellington Airport is once again providing a $10,000 advertising package for the first placed tree as judged by a local artist. The public can also vote for the ‘People’s Choice’ category with the winner receiving a $5,000 advertising package.
Every vote cast goes in the draw to win a $500 shopping spree, and kids can win a $250 prize pack by designing their own tree.
Previous festivals have raised around $30,000 to support the work of Cystic Fibrosis NZ.