Dunedinites give for Christmas appeal

Dunedin was the sixth most generous centre in a New Zealand-wide Salvation Army Christmas gift appeal.

Dunedin people donated 3344 gifts to the 2013 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, out of the 40,618 gifts donated nationally.

Palmerston North had the most gifts donated, with 6649, followed by Riccarton, in Christchurch, with 3705.

The gifts were distributed to families that were ''doing it tough'', Salvation Army secretary for social services Major Pam Waugh said yesterday.

Once again, Kiwis have generously supported people they don't know and may never meet,'' Maj Waugh said.

''On behalf of the Salvation Army, I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated.''

People of all ages and backgrounds had supported the appeal, Kmart New Zealand general manager Sue Smith said.

''It has been inspiring to hear the heart-warming stories - from young ones who are learning the true meaning of Christmas ... to adults and the elderly, who have made a family tradition of giving year in, year out.''

More than 350,000 gifts have been distributed in the 19 years the annual appeal has been operating.

The 2013 gift tally was: Albany (2330), Botany (2974), Dunedin (3344), Hamilton (2674), Hastings (1339), Henderson (3467), Manukau (1457), Nelson-Richmond (423), Palmerston North (6649), Papatoetoe (618), Porirua (3482), Riccarton (3705), Shirley (2464), St Lukes (3423), Tauranga (1526) and Whakatane (743).

-nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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