One Mother to Another specialises in delivering care packages to families with sick children, offering essential items and heartfelt support during challenging times. Our aim is to create a community of empathy and understanding, and remind families they’re not alone in their journey. Keep reading to hear some inspirational and personal stories from mothers and families who have received a One Mother to Another care package.

Sam and Chris’ Story

“Our lives were turned upside down when Grace was 7 days old. We went into hospital on the 21st of December. Grace was showing signs of abdominal pain and had high temperatures. The team at Christchurch Hospital promptly admitted us and started the long list of tests. After her second Lumbar Puncture test, they found Grace had meningitis. We were transferred to Children’s High Care Unit.

The High Care team looked after us so well for 4-5nights. It was very hard to be in hospital with our 1-week-old and be away from our son who is nearly 2 and it made it harder being over the Christmas period. Luckily Grace started to recover on the 27th and we were transferred to the normal children’s ward.

A couple night’s stay there and we were off home. It was horrible to have to spend Christmas in hospital. But we were so grateful to receive such a lovely gift from your team late on Christmas Eve. It gave us a respite from our situation and took our mind off things for a while. Greatly appreciated. Thanks for all you do.”

– Sam and Chris

Kimberley’s Story

“It was a crazy time in our lives, but these little gift packs and personal notes made me feel not so alone in this foreign world we were thrown into when Emily decided to come 8 weeks early in December 2021. We were 2 hours away from home (we were lucky enough to get a spot in Christchurch NICU) so it was just me and my husband and Emily.

The day after she was born there was a gift pack by her incubator with lots of amazing wee things which was so beautiful with a wee hand written note that made me cry! Then we had the tough decision when Emily was a week old on Christmas day whether we stayed with her or go home for the day to see our families who we hadn’t seen since we left. It felt so unnatural to leave her there alone so it was a tough decision, but we still had a few more weeks in hospital to go.

We arrived early that morning to see Emily before we left and were greeted with the most amazing care package! Roll on the tears again! It made our first family Christmas that more special knowing people were looking out for us!

Your gift packs are amazing and bring such moments of joy in what can be such a foreign situation! The hand written notes are the absolute best! Thank you!!”
– Kimberley

Sarah’s Story

On Christmas Day 2021, Sarah had to choose between spending Christmas Day with her 12 day old Maeve in Christchurch’s neonatal intensive care unit, or with her 5 year old at home. She says it was a “heart-breaking” decision.

“This was the second time in NICU for us. Our then 5 year old had spent 3 weeks there when he was born. This time round although we knew the ropes, was that much more difficult. We had another little person at home to look after and the fact that it was Christmas time was hard. Maeve was born the week before Christmas and we were in NICU until the new year. It was a very emotional time and I spent 12 nights sleeping in at the hospital every night with Maeve. The only night I went home was Christmas Eve, so I was able to wake up on Christmas morning with my 5 year old. A heartbreaking decision.

Upon arrival Christmas morning I was amazed to see an enormous care package sitting on my chair next to my baby sleeping soundly in her cot. It was incredible, filled with treats for the whole family.

It was truly uplifting and made the first Christmas with our newest addition in hospital that much better. Knowing that someone was looking out for us was really special.” – Sarah

Holly’s Story

“I have just finished a 31 day stint in NICU with my daughter who was born by emergency c-section at 33 weeks. I was lucky enough to receive two packs from you – the first was when I arrived, which made me cry.

Even though I was in a room full of people, I felt so alone, but your note made me feel seen and loved.

I then also received your package on Christmas Day – the cookbook will be cherished forever and the goodies kept me going on what was a tough day – splitting my time between my newborn daughter in hospital and my four year old son at home – a truly foreign and awful feeling. The mum guilts were hitting hard that day. Your gift pack brought a smile to my face on an otherwise upsetting and disjointed day.

A huge thank you for the work you do – these gifts are sunshine on the cloudiest of days.” – Holly

Zoe’s Story

Zoe received a One Mother to Another care package while in hospital with her 3rd child, son Louie (aged 6 months) in June 2022.

“I was in hospital with Louie who was six months at the time and we went in and discovered he had a brain tumour.  When we got the CT of the tumour, it looked like it was covering a quarter of his brain.  We didn’t know what the prognosis.

He was in hospital for three days before they operated.

After the operation, he was in Intensive Care for a night then was transferred to the High Care Unit.  While in hospital it was quite isolating.  We had outside support with your friends but those people didn’t know firsthand what we were going through.

As we waited for Louie to get out of surgery, one of the nurses brought us a One Mother to Another pack.  I think just getting the pack while we were waiting was just the light that we needed to keep going.

It was such a surprise but such an unknowingly needed surprise.  The food and everything was amazing, especially the chocolate but reading that handwritten note was amazing.

Reading those words saying you know ‘you are valued, you can do this this” was just something we needed to hear when we were going thought so much.  It reminded us that we can get there and we can fight whatever comes to us.

Louie is now 23 months old and is tumour free and a normal boy-ish toddler.”

Zoe is now part of the volunteer and staff team.  She says 

“I do it because I know how much it impacted me”

“I just love to be able to give back to other mums.  They don’t know it but that care package is a little something that is just going to absolutely make their day, maybe even their week.  It’s such an amazing thing to receive and it is such an honour to be able to give back to what it gave to me.”

Brooke’s Story

At 37 weeks, Brooke’s son was born via emergency c-section and went straight into Christchurch Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“I was pregnant with my first baby and everything was fine as far as I knew, then all of a sudden at 37 weeks things became pretty high risk and I had an emergency c-section so my newborn son went straight into NICU (neonatal intensive care) after that.

There was a lot of grieving that we were doing during that time, a lot of unknowns and a lot of worry.

Sometimes he would get a bit better and then an hour later he would decline in some way so riding those ups and downs was really difficult.

I honestly felt like we were never going to leave the neonatal unit and I get emotional just thinking about that because it was really hard to remain hopeful.

2-3 days after my son was born, I received a One Mother to Another care package.  It was just so impactful because it was a little touch of comfort.  When you’re in this sterile hospital environment where everything is new and unfamiliar and foreign to you, it was a touch of warmth and compassion.

It was the simple things like the handcream, coffee and some biscuits which were so helpful and the handwritten note brought me to tears when I read it.

Just knowing there are other mums that have gone through something similar and are backing you and rooting for you and cheering for you is so special.

The pack really gave me a sense of hope when I really didn’t have any.  I had a lot of questions a lot of fears and a lot of unknowns in that moment and it just reminded me that actually you can do this – you’re strong and capable and you can do this.

Becoming a mum or the first time for anyone is a pretty traumatic experience.  But for the babies in NICU, they need some pretty serious help sometimes and it can be difficult to see that, and no parent wants to have that be their introduction into parenthood.”

Brooke is now part of the volunteer team now 

“Putting together those gift bags, it seems like such a small gesture, but it has such a big impact for mums in a really hard time.” – Brooke

Donn’s Story

“I was in the hospital’s children’s ward recently with my nephew and stayed one night while his symptoms were investigated.  Our experience there was a great one, considering the circumstances that meant we had to be there.  The staff were amazing.  They were incredibly helpful, and wanted to know how they could make us comfortable and showed us how to access what we may need during our stay there.  At one point, not long after arriving there, a nurse brought me a care package from One Mother to Another.

This was an exceptional gesture to a parent/guardian staying in hospital with their child.  I’d already been well-treated by staff, so this was a ‘cherry on the top’ for feeling cared for at a time when worries about your child are not far from your mind.  As my nephew was not permitted to eat for a period of time, due to the possibility of surgery, I had held back too, not wanting to eat around him.  So, when the all-clear came that he didn’t need surgery, we were able to enjoy some chocolate treats together.  The items themselves were greatly appreciated and what was equally appreciated was that someone thought about the parent/guardian doing the hard yards alongside their child.

There is often a lot of uncertainty in the waiting times for seeing the next medical professional who can shed some light on what is going on and what will happen next.  To receive something like this makes you feel like someone else understands the challenges of navigating a health issue with a child.  The handwritten note in the package really emphasised that this was someone who had taken time and effort to put it together.  Thank you One Mother to Another.” – Donn

Volunteer Stories


Meet Angela, from Angela Jones – Portraits!

Angela is a long-standing supporter of One Mother to Another and uses her incredible photography skills to help One Mother to Another capture some key moments.  In fact you’ve probably seen her amazing photographs on our social media or in our fundraising cookbook.  We are so grateful for the hours she gifts us and her amazing art.

Here’s her why…

“I volunteer as a Photographer – I love coming in on the packing days, grabbing some images for the sponsors and getting some action shots. The volunteers are so lovely it’s a beautiful place to be. Also, in the past we made the Eats Cookbook to raise money for the charity. That was a huge highlight for me.

I have 4 kids myself – I received a pack when my young son was in the hospital. It’s such a scary time for a parent – and to receive a gift is a very touching way to show support. It certainly touched my heart and I’m glad to be able to help now.

The best thing about being involved with OMTA is that everyone is so friendly and willing, it’s nice to be able to do something selfless.  I love that OMTA continues to expand and I hope more sponsors come on board as it makes the packs better each time.” – Angela


Kristen Smith always has a smile on her face as she puts together our care packages.  She knows the difference a One Mother to Another care pack can make having received one two years ago.  She now regularly volunteers for One Mother to Another by coming along to every packing day.  A huge thanks to Kristen and all of our volunteers, for all that they do ❤️.

“I was first introduced to One Mother To Another during a hospital stay with my son who required emergency surgery over Christmas 2021.  Receiving a care package at such a stressful time was just lovely, and encouraged me to get involved and pay it forward to others who may experience hospital stays with their children in the future.

The best thing about being involved with OMTA is the community, which has been incredibly welcoming and it’s great to feel like you’re giving back to others in some small way through the OMTA care packages we put together.

I’ve witnessed OMTA grow swiftly in recent times and my hope is that it continues to be supported by donors so it can continue to grow further and spread its’ kindness and goodwill throughout hospitals New Zealand wide.” – Kristen


Irene, one of our very dedicated knitters, shares below her reasons for volunteering.

What’s the best thing about being involved?

The delight of making a difference in the life of 1 baby at a time

What do you hope for the future of OMTA?

For more & more volunteers (in their own area of ability) to discover the joy I have found in being involved. Thus enabling OMTA to bless more Mothers. My dream is that there would be enough blankets that Mothers could choose the colour & pattern they most love.

A big thank you to our amazing knitters and crocheters put so much love into creating beautiful blankets to be given out to children needing some warmth and crocheting gorgeous hearts that are a much-loved handmade item in every One Mother to Another pack. Every stitch is made with so much love!

Many of the hearts are hung on the bedposts of the child and taken home as a special keepsake!  They are very special!