Christmas spirit required for more than 40,000 New Zealanders

Tuesday 12 November 2013, 1:59PM

By Tennille Ziegler


Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal
Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal Credit: Kmart

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, now in its 19th year, will support families in need throughout New Zealand this festive season. Kmart aims to collect more than 40,000 gifts during the appeal, which runs from November 11 to December 24, 2013.

The forecasted figure represents a 33 per cent increase in gifts required to meet demand since just last year.

Since it began almost two decades ago, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal has become New Zealand’s largest Christmas appeal.

Last year the Appeal helped nearly 30,000 underprivileged people ease the financial burden of Christmas. This year, The Salvation Army and Kmart hope to help spread cheer to even more people whose Christmas might otherwise be an unhappy one.

To help the Appeal reach its target, New Zealanders are invited to simply choose a gift that’s suitable for the recipient’s gender and age, and then place it under the trees located at Kmart stores the country over.

Kmart New Zealand General Manager, Sue Smith, said they were proud to operate a charitable program that reached so many underprivileged Kiwis at such a difficult time of year.

“Supporters of the Appeal not only help those in need, they create a ripple effect, encouraging others to give and share the joy of the appeal,” Sue said.

“We thank The Salvation Army for their tireless work and commitment to distributing the gifts to those who truly need it most,” she added.

In 2012, the Salvation Army helped more than 17,000 families throughout New Zealand during the Christmas period. This year, Salvation Army Secretary for Social Services Major Pam Waugh renews the call for the support.

“Even the smallest contribution can make a difference for families whose financial challenges can escalate during this time. We thank everyone who places a thoughtfully purchased gift under a tree at Kmart during the Wishing Tree Appeal,” Major Waugh said. 

“Alternatively, anyone interested in making a cash donation can do so. These donations will be converted into Kmart gift cards and distributed families in need,” she added.

Kmart welcomes gifts purchased from any retailer, not just Kmart stores.   
To contribute to Kmart’s Wishing Tree Appeal or find out more, visit Kmart or donate online at: