A Christmas Wish From The Salvation Army And Barnardos
While many New Zealanders are wishing for Christmas goodies for themselves this year, The Salvation Army and Barnardos only wish is for more Kiwis to consider families in need and donate a present to the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.
The appeal has seen less giving this Christmas with donations down 11% on last year. To date 8,649 presents have been donated to the appeal nationwide, compared with 9,760 collected at the same time last year. With an aim of collecting 22,000 gifts before Christmas Eve, there is a long way to go.
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is New Zealand’s largest Christmas gift appeal for families in need, and over the past 12 years has helped more than 147,000 New Zealanders.
Presents are collected by Kmart and distributed locally by The Salvation Army and Barnardos to families that are unable to afford Christmas presents.
The Salvation Army’s Northern Director for Community Ministries, Gerry Walker, says many more presents are still needed, but is hopeful that this year will see an increase rather than a decrease in the total number of gifts donated.
“There are many New Zealanders who, without gifts from the appeal, will experience a fairly bleak Christmas. Kiwis are generous by nature, and I truly believe that the more Kiwis are aware of the appeal, the more will donate gifts to help create a happier holiday for everyone.”
“There has been a real change in people’s shopping habits, with more and more people leaving shopping to the last minute. Though we have collected less gifts to date than this time last year, we hope to see more gifts donated as people head out to do their last minute Christmas shopping,” he said.
Barnardos New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Peter Gerrie thanked those who had donated gifts and vouchers to the appeal so far.
“These gifts will help reduce some of the stresses that families struggling to make ends meet face at Christmas, which in turn will allow them to focus on what really counts at Christmas time – showing love and giving time and attention to children.”
To participate in the appeal, simply place a gift (wrapped or unwrapped) underneath the Wishing Tree at any one of Kmart’s 15 stores across New Zealand. Gifts do not need to be purchased from Kmart – all gifts will be gratefully received and will go towards helping brighten someone’s Christmas.
As an alternative to donating a gift, people can make a cash contribution at any Kmart store register. One hundred percent of cash contributions are converted by Kmart into Kmart gift vouchers, which are then distributed to people in need allowing recipients to choose their own Christmas gift.
Store gift tally to date:
Palmerston North 1,788
St Lukes – Auckland 865
Riccarton - Christchurch 798
Bayfair - Tauranga 783
Shirley - Chirstchurch 569
Henderson – Auckland 555
Botany - Auckland 545
Albany - Auckland 340
Papatoetoe - Auckland 306
Manukau - Auckland 156
Total to Date 8,649