Two Wanganui women say they are overwhelmed by the response to their call for help for a Samoan hospital.
Penny Robinson and Pam Robertson started a fundraising drive for the tiny Lalomanu District Hospital after they contracted salmonella while staying at a resort at the popular Samoan holiday village of Lalomanu.
The two women, who were on holiday with their husbands and other friends, became so ill they had to be hospitalised.
Mrs Robinson said the basics people take for granted in New Zealand hospitals were not available at Lalomanu Hospital. There was no on-site doctor, and patients and their families must provide their own sheets, towels, soap, toilet paper, drinking water and food.
Despite that, the women say the care they received was "outstanding", and when they came back to Wanganui they decided to help the humble little Pacific Island hospital that had looked after them so well. They started a drive to collect goods for the hospital and its patients - bed linen, towels, pillows, toilet paper, baby and children's clothing and basic medical supplies.
Mrs Robinson said the response has been "astonishing and wonderful".
"It's proof that New Zealanders really do respond to heartfelt need," she said.
Members of a Facebook group for young mums have donated baby clothing, and members of a local Presbyterian church had a sewing day to provide towels and bed linen. Other people have donated toys.
One of the biggest donors to the cause is the board of Hikurangi Residential Home, which closed its doors several months ago. Hikurangi Incorporated board chairwoman, Pam Erni, said she had heard about the women's story and was very moved by it.
"We were clearing out the chattels of Hikurangi and while a lot of them went to other rest homes, a lot didn't.
"Hikurangi had specialist items that were really only useful for medical facilities, and we thought they would be ideal to send to Samoa."
Mrs Erni put the idea to her board, and they agreed.
Commodes, walkers, wheelchairs, bedding, and medical equipment have all been donated from Hikurangi.
Mrs Erni said she was delighted to know where the equipment will end up.
"We have so much here in New Zealand and often we just don't appreciate it."
Mrs Robinson and Mrs Robertson say they still need cash donations for further medical items, and baby clothes - especially for newborns - are also needed.
They will be collecting items and cash right up to the end of May and they hope to enlist the help of the New Zealand Defence Force to transport the goods to Samoa.
"We'll meet it in Samoa to make sure everything ends up where it needs to," Mrs Robertson said.
Cash donations can be left at Robinson & Associates at 108 Wicksteed St or at the Royal Wanganui Opera House. For donations of goods please leave a message on (06) 345 0845.