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A Merrier Christmas Thanks To Kiwi Generosity

Christmas all the more merry thanks to Kiwi generosity

The Salvation Army and Barnardos are thrilled with the generosity that has been displayed by Kiwis this year as they tally the final number of gifts donated to the 2007 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.

Nearly 23,000 presents have been donated to the appeal from people across New Zealand.

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is New Zealand's largest Christmas gift appeal for families in need, and over the past 13 years has helped more than 170,000 New Zealanders. Presents are collected by Kmart and distributed locally by The Salvation Army and Barnardos to people that are unable to afford Christmas presents.

The Salvation Army's Northern Director for Community Ministries, Gerry Walker, says that he is impressed with the generosity Kiwis have shown this year.

"Kiwis are big-hearted people, and we are so pleased with how many gifts have been donated this year. Some amazing gifts have been put under the tree; everything from children's toys to lovely soaps, moisturisers and make up for mums.

"We have a big job ahead of us now sorting through the gifts and getting them out to people in need, but it is nice to know that we will be able to make a huge difference to so many people's Christmas this year," he says.

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal was launched by TV1 Breakfast co-host Pippa Wetzell on 19 November 2007.

Pippa says of the results of the 2007 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal: "I am so pleased to have been part of the appeal. The display of generosity this year has been truly impressive. Well done New Zealand for entering into the true spirit of Christmas!"

Final Store Tally:

Palmerston North: 5,688
St Lukes, Auckland: 2,331
Shirley, Christchurch: 2,246
Dunedin: 1,795
Riccarton, Christchurch: 1,650
Hamilton: 1,445
Henderson, Auckland: 1,442
Bayfair, Tauranga: 1,383
Albany, Auckland: 1,190
Botany, Auckland: 988
Porirua, Wellington: 979
Hastings: 805
Papatoetoe, Auckland: 745
Manukau, Auckland: 251
Gifts donated by suppliers: 60


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