Shannon shares with Anne's Angels

CATRIN OWEN
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2014
Shannon Simpson
Rosie Hunter
CARING ANGEL: Shannon Simpson runs Anne’s Angels which provides care packages for parents with children staying in hospital for a long time.

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Giving back to the community is a daily part of life for Auckland mum Shannon Simpson.

The 29-year-old runs two non-profit organisations, Anne's Angels and The Brown Bag Project, alongside three successful online businesses, all while being a mum to a 4-year-old.

In March, Simpson set up Anne's Angels to provide care packages for parents with children having to stay in hospital for lengthy spells.

Anne's Angels grew out of Simpson's own experience after her child was in Starship hospital.

"Sometimes when a parent has to stay with their child in hospital it means that they may lose any income from taking time off work.

This can add to their already stressful situation."

She fills care packages with toiletry items, vouchers and small food items to give to such parents.

Anne's Angels has grown vastly and in the past few months has received donations from the community and small and large businesses.

The generosity has meant Simpson can deliver the parcels to all Auckland hospitals including Waitakere Hospital.

"We drop them in as we have them ready and they can take them. We have about 20 more to go to Starship as soon as I get a drop date from our liaison there," she says.

Starship Foundation chief executive Brad Clarke says, "we are very grateful to Shannon for creating care packages for some of the patients and families.

"Many patients come from around the country and are far from home or in hospital for long periods of time so we know they will appreciate the range of items to help them during their stay," he says.

Simpson says she gets her fundraising drive from her parents, with her mother Anne being the namesake for the organisation.

"She loved collecting angels. Both my parents were very involved in the Child Cancer Foundation when I was growing up so I get my charitable traits from them."

The Brown Bag Project is another of Simpsons' initiatives.

She is setting up a programme with a community garden to supply a Pay It Forward food bank. Simpson hopes to grow Anne's Angels and provide more parcels to hospitals "so parents are able to focus on their children without worrying about whether they can afford a toothbrush".

To donate to Anne's Angels go to facebook.com/annesangels.

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