Western Leader : December 16th 2010
www.westernleader.co.nz Thursday, December 16, 2010 Wish tree's a bit bare Gifts needed: Zandea Lee from the Salvation Army is calling for west Aucklanders to donate presents to families in need. Photo: VANITA PRASAD By VANITA PRASAD UNDERPRIVILEGED teen- agers and preschoolers could go without gifts this Christmas if donations to Kmart Henderson's Wishing Tree appeal don't pick up fast. Salvation Army community ministries manager Zandea Lee says people need to get in quick if they want to help. We have many presents for school-aged children but we still have a huge need especially for preschool chil- dren and for teens between 13 and16.'' She says the Salvation Army struggles to get pres- ents for teenagers every year. Getting teens vouchers or movie tickets is great because it lets them make decisions.'' Presents from the wishing tree appeal go to the Sal- vation Army to distribute. Gifts collected at the store do not have to be bought from Kmart. Like many branches around the country Hender- son has so far received less presents than in previous years. The store collected more than 1600 gifts last year and in 2008. More than 1000 presents are still needed to beat last year's total and there is just a week to go before the end of the appeal. A nationwide poll com- missioned by the organisers suggests New Zealanders could be less charitable this Christmas. Eighteen percent of those surveyed said they would donate less to charities this year. Henderson appeal co- ordinator Jenny Ormsby says the store has only collected 560 presents so far. But she is optimistic the shortfall will be filled. Maybe it is a little bit slower than usual. People tend to bring in gifts around now -- leaving it a little closer to Christmas,'' she says. The number of presents collected last week had increased significantly com- pared with previous weeks. Two weeks ago we col- lected 190 presents, com- pared to the first week where we collected 10.'' The nationwide target for the appeal is 30,000 gifts and they will be collected until Christmas Eve. The Sal- vation Army has been assist- ing more families than ever before in the economic slump. In the last year the charity has recorded a 38 percent increase in families turning to it for food for the first time. Miss Lee says parents can choose which of the donated gifts they would like for their children. They know exactly what their child has wanted all year, and this means they can choose it for them and wrap it up with love.'' The Salvation Army will also be collecting monetary donations at Mitre10 Mega and The Warehouse on Lin- coln Rd next week.
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