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Survey Predicts Fall in Charitable Giving This Christmas

Survey Predicts Fall in Charitable Giving This Christmas

New Zealanders urged to prove poll expectations wrong

Kiwis are being called on to counter survey results which show we’re planning to cut back on charitable giving this Christmas.

The survey of 513 New Zealanders was commissioned by the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal and conducted by Australian-based Lonergan Research during the first week of November.

Whilst only 10 percent of those questioned said they would donate more to charities than last year, 18 percent said they would donate less. This is despite reports of increased need within communities across New Zealand.

However, the survey noted a degree of variance between the North and South Islands, with 15 percent of the mainlanders questioned, likely to donate more this year than last, as compared to only 9 percent of North Islanders.

The survey also found that 45 percent of New Zealanders anticipate spending more on food than on presents this Christmas, while 22 percent expect to spend more on entertainment or going out.

“We understand the pressures many people are under at the moment and that they may need to cut back on Christmas expenditure but we appeal to them not to do so at the expense of those who need help during the festive season,” says Major Robert Ross, Territorial Public Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army, which is the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal’s participating charity.

“Just last week, we published statistics showing a 22 percent increase in demand for our social and emergency services this year, as compared to the previous 12 month period. The figures also showed a massive 38 percent increase over the last quarter in the number of families turning to us for food for the first time.

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“These statistics point to a severe level of need within our communities. For many of the families concerned, Christmas can be the worst of times, with absolutely no spare cash for even the most modest of holiday luxuries and with the cruel duty of explaining to children why they, unlike others in their age group, won’t be receiving any Christmas presents,” he says. “By contributing a gift to the Wishing Tree Appeal, you can bring a new sense of hope and joy to a family that’s really struggling. Isn’t that one of the things that Christmas is about?” Major Ross says. Now in its sixteenth year, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal has helped more than 228,000 New Zealanders and, last year alone, distributed 26,593 gifts. This year, it is hoped that 30,000 gifts will be donated.

To contribute, all people need do is place a gift under a Wishing Tree in a Kmart store and then add a gift tag from the tree to identify the age and gender of a suitable recipient.

Alternatively, people can make a cash contribution to the Appeal at any Kmart store register. One hundred percent of the contributions will be converted into a Kmart gift card, for distribution by The Salvation Army. The Appeal runs until Christmas Eve.

“Kiwis have always been a generous bunch and we have never believed in turning our backs on people going through tough times, as so many families are at the moment. Let’s prove the pollsters’ predictions wrong and ensure that as many families as possible have some cause for festive cheer this Christmas,” says Kmart’s NZ Manager, Ms Sue Smith.

“Your gift does not need to be large or expensive. It can be something you purchase at Kmart or elsewhere or it could be something that you make yourself. The important thing is the joy it will bring and the sense of caring that goes with it,” she says.


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