Wishing tree appeal falls behind

ORANGE residents are being asked to dig a little deeper this year with the number of presents donated to the Kmart Wishing Tree the fifth lowest in NSW.

According to a spokesperson from Kmart head office, only 190 gifts have been donated at the Orange store.  Mount Druitt, Nowra, and Queanbeyan are among the 39 NSW locations that  have donated more gifts that Orange residents.

The local co-ordinator of the Kmart Wishing Tree, initiative and customer services manger Caitlin King, said while donations were down on last year she hoped they would increase in the lead-up to Christmas.

“Orange is usually a very generous town but this year it has been slow picking up,” she said.

“I think one of the reasons is that other organisations are collecting presents as well.”

Miss King said despite the number of in-store donations doubling each week, there was still a shortfall.

She said people being concerned about their job security could have affected the number of donations.

“We want to remind people that they can give what they can [afford], it doesn’t have to be big or expensive,” she said.

“Even a small toy is better than nothing.”

Miss King said donations did not have to be purchased at Kmart, and could include homemade items. The only stipulation is that they be new or unused.

“You can give something that’s for a newborn or a 90-year old,” she said.

“We get a lot of toys, a lot of people think this is a toy drive, but we get very few things for older people.”

Once donated the goods are collected by the Salvation Army and distributed to families in need.

This year the appeal hopes to collect 500,000 gifts Australia-wide.

tracey.prisk@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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