More gifts urgently needed over next 14 days

Published: Tue 11 Dec 2007 11:09 AM
Media Release
Tuesday 11 December 2007
Wishing Tree Appeal: more gifts urgently needed over next 14 days
Urgent call for generosity with donations down by 12% from last year
As the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal crosses the mid-way point to Christmas, New Zealanders are being urged to dig deep and consider those who may not receive gifts this Christmas.
The appeal has so far collected more than 5,000 gifts from across New Zealand, down by 12% from this time last year. This year the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is aiming to collect more than 22,000 gifts for New Zealanders in need.
The Salvation Army’s Northern Director for Community Ministries, Gerry Walker thanked everyone who had contributed to the appeal so far, but said there was a long way to go before enough gifts were collected to reach those in need this Christmas.
“Although you’ll never meet the recipient you’re giving to, you’ll have comfort in knowing you have made someone else’s Christmas and that you’ve given them hope,” he said.
 “When donating gifts, we encourage people to consider teenage boys, as few presents are donated with them in mind. People often find this group hard to buy for and so many miss out. Some gift ideas for teenage boys are well-priced sporting equipment, wallets, shirts and hand held video games.”
Mr Walker said that many families in New Zealand have been living from hand-to-mouth all year, meaning there isn’t spare money to buy something special at Christmas.
Barnardos New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Peter Gerrie thanked those who had donated gifts and vouchers for the appeal so far.
“These gifts will help reduce some of the stresses that families struggling to make ends meet face at Christmas, which in turn will allow them to focus on what really counts at Christmas time – showing love and giving time and attention to children.”
How to participate in the appeal:
Simply place a gift under the Wishing Tree at any Kmart store throughout New Zealand. Take a gift tag from the tree to identify the appropriate gender and age of a suitable recipient and place it with your gift.
Alternatively, donors can make a cash contribution at any Kmart store register. Cash contributions will be converted by Kmart into Kmart gift vouchers, allowing appeal recipients to choose their own Christmas gift. The 2007 appeal will run until Christmas Eve.

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