The Salvation Army in Hamilton has opened its Christmas loft in support of those struggling to meet the demands of the festive season.
Thanks to the support of Hamiltonians, local businesses, corporate partnerships and a generous $10,000 grant from the WEL Energy Trust, The Salvation Army has been able to invite families in need to visit a toy-filled loft at Hamilton City Salvation Army. Parents who have been working with Salvation Army staff during the year to improve their situations are invited to select age-appropriate gifts for their children. They will also receive a food bag full of Christmas goodies, along with a Countdown voucher to get fresh food.
With unprecedented demand across the Waikato region for their services, Hamilton City Salvation Army Corps Officer and Community Ministries Director Captain Jenny Collings says that this is a very challenging time of year for many families. The pressure of Christmas can sometimes lead them to enter into debt that they would otherwise not incur. The purpose of the Christmas Loft is to reduce financial pressure on whānau over the Christmas period, at the same time as ensuring that all tamariki are included in this season of giving, she says,
“WEL Energy Trust have supported our mission across New Zealand over the last 23 years through investment in our work with thousands of families and individuals at times of need, assisting them to make practical changes; bringing real hope to their futures. We are truly grateful for the generosity of the WEL Energy grant towards the Loft because it will help us bring Christmas joy into so many Waikato homes this year.”
In 2018 the Christmas Loft operated over 8 days and served 193 families with a total of 594 children.