Appeal to help needy families

Published 6:00pm 14 December 2021

Appeal to help needy families
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Image: The team from Kmart at the Peninsular Fair Shopping Centre with donations left at their store. 

There’s still time to bring a smile to a family in need this Christmas by placing a gift under the Kmart Wishing Tree.

Stores across the region, including the Kmart inside the Peninsula Fair Shopping Centre, will be accepting gifts right up until Christmas Eve to ensure nobody misses out on unwrapping a present.

Kmart partners with The Salvation Army for the appeal every year to ensure all gifts are given to those experiencing hardship.

Due to Covid, The Salvation Army has seen a 29 per cent increase on last year in the number of people seeking assistance from its Doorways Emergency Relief Services, where they support families by providing food, utilities and accommodation.

Kmart community relations advisor Frankie Swithinbank is asking people to dig deep to help their fellow Australians, with the theme of this year’s appeal being ‘small gift, big heart’.

“This year has been a testing time for many Australian families and vulnerable individuals, and the need for support is greater than ever,” Frankie says.

“We believe a kind gesture can go a long way and make someone’s day, or even year.

“We want every day Aussies to know their small actions can contribute to a big impact this Christmas and beyond to those who need it most.”

How you can help

This year marks 34 years since the appeal began, and since then more than eight million gifts have been given to vulnerable Australians.

These gifts are collected by the Salvation Army and then distributed to families in need, ensuring everyone has a Merry Christmas.

All you need to do is pick out a gift you think someone else will love and place it under the tree instore. Gifts do not need to be purchased from Kmart but must be new (not used or second-hand) and not wrapped.

Shoppers can also help by dropping off practical gifts that will be useful beyond Christmas. Suggested gifts include everyday essential items such as socks, bed linen and bath towels.

Monetary contributions are also welcomed and can be easily made at the self-checkouts, by a gold coin donation, or online.

In addition, Kmart has also launched a school program for primary and secondary schools, from prep to year 10.

Teachers can sign up to receive a free digital activity pack which highlights the values of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal with fun and interactive worksheets and learning materials.

The program is designed to engage students at different levels, and teachers can link lesson plans to key areas of the curriculum. Visit https://www.kmart.com.au/kmartwishingtree

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