Kmart Australia today launched its annual Wishing Tree Appeal to show others they are not alone this Christmas.
Now in its 29th year, the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift Appeal, supporting families and individuals who are unable to provide gifts at Christmas.
Through the generosity of Australians and our charity partners, The Salvation Army and Mission Australia, the Appeal has collected over 8 million gifts and this year, aims to help over 300,000 families.
Kmart Managing Director, Ian Bailey, said “the Kmart team and I know how difficult everyday life can be for families, and Christmas time is no exception. We are so proud of the long-standing history of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal and the tradition it has become.”
The Salvation Army is the founding Appeal partner and spokesperson Major Paul Hateley explained that Christmas can be a challenging time for Australian families who feel the strain of not being able to afford gifts for their loved ones.
“During December, The Salvation Army assists three times more people compared to any other month due to increased budget pressure at Christmas. Extra bills, back-to-school costs, special meals and holiday activities for the children are added on to everyday living expenses. The last thing families can afford is often presents for the children and this is devastating for a parent. With the help of Kmart and the generosity of Australians nationwide, we are able to provide gifts to those who would otherwise go without at Christmas and bring hope where it’s needed most,” says Major Paul Hateley
Mission Australia will once again provide an avenue to assist even more Australians, by coming on board as a partner for a second year.
Mission Australia CEO Catherine Yeomans said, “Across the country we see thousands of people in our services who may find Christmas to be an especially difficult, stressful and sometimes isolating time of the year. The contribution of gifts and funds from the Appeal will help people and families to participate in Christmas celebrations with dignity and joy.”
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal officially launches nationwide in all Kmart stores on 14 November and will run until Christmas Eve, 24 December. There are many ways Australians can take part in the Appeal: by placing a gift under a Kmart Wishing Tree in any store nationally*; making a monetary contribution at any Kmart register or by donating online at www.kmart.com.au/wishingtree
*gifts do not need to be purchased at Kmart, nor do they need to be wrapped.