The support of Kmart through the Wishing Tree Appeal is one of the longest relationships between a New Zealand business and The Salvation Army. The appeal has seen generous New Zealanders donate nearly 550,000 gifts for children and teenagers who might otherwise have missed out at Christmas.
Head of Welfare Services for The Salvation Army, Major Pam Waugh says the Appeal means the Army can provide gifts to those who would otherwise go without, not just at Christmas but also at other occasions throughout the year.
‘The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal always brings hope and happiness where it is needed most.’
The effects of the appeal go beyond Christmas Day, she says.
‘The Salvation Army helps more people in December than in any other month. With extra bills, upcoming back to school costs and the additional costs of having children at home over the holiday period, added on top of higher everyday living expenses, the financial pressure at Christmas increases dramatically.’
Jason Picard, Country Manager for Kmart New Zealand, says after 25 years the story is encouraging people to back this effort to make the Christmas spirit last longer. ‘The Kmart team, alongside our partner The Salvation Army, are looking to extend the Appeal beyond Christmas to support those facing hardship whenever it is needed most. We are encouraging the contribution of practical gifts this year, to truly make a difference in the everyday lives of those in need.”
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal officially launched nationwide in all Kmart stores on Monday 12 November. Gift contributions will be accepted until 24 December 2018 and financial contributions until 31 January 2019.
You can get involved in the Appeal by:
1. Placing a gift under the Wishing Tree at any Kmart store
2. Adding a little extra to your transaction by clicking the Wishing Tree logo on the self-serve checkouts and dropping your spare change in a coin collection box at any register
3. Taking a bauble tag off the Wishing Tree and scan the barcode at any register to contribute
4. Giving online and visit www.kmart.co.nz/wishingtree
To help you choose a practical gift this year, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal have released a Wish List, which outlines the gifts that are truly needed for those facing hardship.