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The Wellington City Mission’s Toy Store Gives Dignity Of Choice This Christmas

The Wellington City Mission’s Toy Store opened on Wednesday morning (8 December), giving those doing it tough this Christmas, the dignity of choice.

Rather than giving families generic toys, The Wellington City Mission will be inviting parents to choose the gifts themselves.

Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge says dignity of choice underpins the concept of the Toy Store. “The Toy Store empowers parents to choose exactly the right gift for their child and wrap it themselves. On Christmas morning, the gift comes from them.”

This year the Wellington City Mission is partnering with Vinnies Wellington to make sure even more families can be supported in this way.

Millie Lambess of Vinnies Wellington says, “Offering a shopping experience like this is giving people the choice, dignity, and ownership to choose presents for their children and it has a huge impact on their sense of worth”.

For the past few years, both The Wellington City Mission and Vinnies Wellington have been trialling the concept independently of each other, however, with limited space and capacity.

This year, both organisations have come together. “With the help of an amazing team of volunteers, we have turned an unused building in Newtown into a proper Toy Store!” says Missioner Murray Edridge. “The Covid 19 Pandemic and the high cost of housing has put even more strain on even more families with Christmas adding yet another layer of pressure.” says Murray. “By supporting parents through the Toy Store and our Social Supermarket, we are able to offer some reprieve from that pressure.”

All toys on the shelves of the Toy Store have been donated by the public and with the increase in demand, the Wellington City Mission is confident of more support. “What we know about Wellingtonians is that they will help us do this – they will help us respond. The generosity so far has been amazing.”

The Toy Store will be open until Wednesday 22 December and will be available for families that the Wellington City Mission and Vinnies are supporting, with other social agencies invited to make appointments too.

To make a donation visit https://wellingtoncitymission.org.nz/donate-now/



  • The Wellington City Mission also supplies over 70 social agencies around the Wellington Region with donated toys. Those toys are then distributed throughout the community.
  • The Toy Store is by appointment only.
  • The Toy Store is stocked by new toys donated by the public.
  • Each shopper is joined by a City Mission or Vinnies Wellington social worker to support them in what can be quite an overwhelming experience.

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