Wishing tree supports locals
Kmart Karratha and Salvation Army staff have launched their annual Christmas Wishing Tree Appeal to collect presents for struggling local families.
The appeal is part of a 29-year tradition that sees Kmart staff, customers and the community donate presents to the Salvos for people who would otherwise go without over the holidays.
It was launched at a special event last Thursday morning, with Spirit Radio broadcasting announcements in-store and food and face-painting on offer.
Karratha Kmart store manager Simon Featherstone said Kmart staff were proud to be part of a campaign that helped community members, especially in recent years.
“Up here, especially in Karratha, there are a lot of people out there who are going through some tough times with the transition from the mining boom, so this is just a small way that we can try to help out and put a smile on some people’s faces,” he said.
Mr Featherstone said despite the difficult times, donations for the appeal had continued to increase each year, with the 2015 drive bringing in more than 950 donations of gifts.
Karratha Salvation Army captain Niall Gibson said the Wishing Tree Appeal provided their main intake of presents each year and enabled staff and volunteers to put together about 100 gift hampers for needy locals.
“If it wasn’t for Kmart, we would be very, very, very low in gifts. Kmart would be our primary (source),” he said.
He said they would especially welcome presents such as vouchers for teenagers or adults, who usually received less than young children.
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal runs until Saturday, December 24. People can donate in store at Kmart Karratha at the base of the tall Christmas tree near the entrance.
Karratha Kmart and Salvation Army staff and children launch the Wishing Tree Appeal.