A Christmas wish

LAST year the Salvation Army helped 102 families over the holiday season and this year, Major Debbie Hindle anticipates even more families will find themselves in need come Christmas.

As part of the Salvo's efforts to support those most in need in the community, the charity organisation is providing a local wishing tree, supported by Kmart.

Now in its 25th year, the Kmart Wishing Tree project each year provides millions of toys to children right across Australia. 

People are encouraged to donate to the cause by leaving an unwrapped Christmas gift at the tree, located at the front of Queanbeyan's recently opened Kmart store. 

"Every year since it began 25 years ago it's been very important for the Salvos because without the K-Mart Wishing Tree we wouldn't be able to give gifts to the families that come to us for help," Major Hindle said. 

"Last year we helped 102 families over the holiday season and I anticipate it will be more than that this year. It's been a tough year for many given rising costs of living.

"Kmart's store manager Michael Ogley meanwhile, lent his enthusiastic support to the project which he hopes will contribute 1000 gifts to the Salvos this year. 

"The Wishing Tree is a huge part of the community," Ogley said. 

"It gives the people of Queanbeyan the chance to give something back to the community and to show their support.

"As we're a brand new store, we're not 100 per cent sure what to expect but if we can get 1000 gifts to hand over to the Salvation Army, we'll be very, very happy."

The Salvation Army and Kmart Wishing Tree appeal will run until Christmas Eve. This year's appeal is aiming to collect 500,000 toys across Australia.

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