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11,000 Smiles on Xmas Morning

11,000 Smiles on Xmas Morning Thanks to Generosity of NZers

Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, New Zealand's largest Christmas gift appeal, has raised 11,000 gifts for needy Kiwis to open tomorrow morning thanks to the generous spirit of all New Zealanders.

Hastings has emerged as the country's most generous city with more than 1,600 gifts raised, a tremendous effort.

Kmart Hastings Wishing Tree Champion, Daniel Walker, says the spirit of giving is alive and well in Hastings: "It's been amazing - everyone has given so much. That's what Christmas is all about, it's a time of giving."

How Many Gifts Did Your Town Raise?

1. Hastings: 1,669 2. Henderson: 1,440 3. Bayfair: 1,108 4. St Lukes: 1,099 5. Porirua: 1,017 6. Hamilton: 940 7. Dunedin: 932 8. Riccarton: 873 9. Shirley: 773 10. Palmerston North: 609 11. Papatoetoe: 491

Backgrounder

The Kmart Wishing Tree® Appeal is New Zealand's largest gift appeal.

Since its inception in 1993, the Appeal has enabled almost 50,000 New Zealanders to share in the joy of Christmas.

Established by Kmart, the Appeal is supported by some of New Zealand's largest welfare organisations - The Salvation Army and Barnardos Children's Trust.

Wishing Trees are located in every Kmart store in Australia and New Zealand. Gift tags are hung on the Wishing Trees, highlighting the age and gender of a person who would otherwise have a very bleak Christmas.

Gifts for the Appeal do not need to be bought from Kmart, rather our stores act as facilitators for the welfare groups to reach the wider public.

Many community groups and individuals spend hours making gifts to donate to the Appeal, others choose to buy gifts as part of the spirit of Christmas.

Now a New Zealand Christmas tradition, The Wishing Tree Appeal is heavily relied upon by welfare groups to service the needs of their clients at Christmas time.

The Appeal gives the Kmart family the opportunity to contribute to those in need in the community - and to make a real difference.

Kmart stores are located in: Henderson, St Lukes, Papatoetoe, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hastings, Palmerston North, Porirua, Shirley, Riccarton and Dunedin.

Editors' Note: Please call me on 021 671 097 if you would like to organise an interview with your local Wishing Tree Champion, Salvation Army or Barnardos representative. Photos can also be set-up.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

NIKKI WRIGHT Porter Novelli New Zealand

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