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100 Pods for Texas babies from Change for our Children

100 Pods for Texas babies from Change for our Children

To: News Room
From: Stephanie Cowan, Director, Change for our Children
Date: 1/9/2017
Subject: Pods for Texas babies

Change for our Children Limited, a small Christchurch-based social innovation company, is mounting a nation-wide response to the catastrophe in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey. The response is taking the form of the supply of a minimum 1000 Pēpi-Pod sleep spaces; simple little baby beds to ensure a safe place to sleep for a baby whatever the disruption to family circumstances.

‘Babies are a particularly vulnerable group in times of natural disaster,’ said director Stephanie Cowan. ‘Hurricane Harvey has tipped thousands of Texan infants into increased risk of sudden infant death by disrupting living and sleeping conditions for their families. It is harder for parents to provide safe sleeping conditions for their babies when fearful, dependent and displaced.’

Change for our Children is working with Texan authorities through the University of North Texas (UNT), who have invited the initiative. ‘These sleepers are wanted, will be distributed and used,’ Dr Wendy Middlemiss, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at UNT told Mike Garrett, CEO of Trusted World which is the Texas agency handling the collection and distribution of all things to shelters.

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In a letter of support for the initiative to Texan authorities, world renowned researcher Professor Ed Mitchell, University of Auckland, said ‘The targeted supply of Pepi-Pods to those in need has been a contributing factor in the 30% fall in infant mortality rates that we have seen in our country over the past 5 years. We recommend these to you in this time of need.’

Each pod will be supplied with a mattress, two bottom sheets and a letter of goodwill from the people of New Zealand to the parents of Texas, and a team at Baby First Limited in Christchurch is busy sewing for the project. “Many people across New Zealand participated in an outpouring of support for Christchurch parents following the 2011 earthquakes, when we initiated a similar response,” said Cowan. ‘This is a New Zealand response. Hearts melt when it comes to babies. To survive the floods but be lost to a sleep accident is a tragedy we can help prevent in Texas.’

Change for our Children is underwriting the project and has set up a ‘Givealittle’ page Pods for Texas Babies to invite donations for pods and freight, and encourages the sharing of this link. (


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