Otago Daily Times

Tree tra­di­tion car­ries on

- JOHN GIBB john.gibb@odt.co.nz Kmart · Sears Holdings · Salvation Army · Dunedin · Celebrations · David McKenzie

THE long tra­di­tion of a preChrist­mas gift­ing tree at the Merid­ian Mall to help fam­i­lies and chil­dren in need is con­tin­u­ing this year.

Kmart had pre­vi­ously long helped Dunedin young­sters and fam­i­lies in need through a pre­Christmas wish­ing tree ap­peal at the mall.

How­ever, Kmart this year closed down its op­er­a­tion in the mall and plans to es­tab­lish an out­let else­where in the city.

Mall mar­ket­ing manager Stacey Men­zies said the mall had ap­proached the Sal­va­tion Army and would pro­vide a home for a new Tree of Light ini­tia­tive, de­signed to en­cour­age mem­bers of the pub­lic to pro­vide Christmas gifts, and also to make cash do­na­tions that could be used for Christmas­re­lated ser­vices, such as fam­ily out­ings.

‘‘Dunedin's Tree of Light will be a place for the com­mu­nity to gift to lo­cal fam­i­lies in need this Christmas,’’ she said.

Sal­va­tion Army Dunedin com­mu­nity min­istries manager David McKen­zie and Cap­tain David McEwen, of the Sal­va­tion Army Dunedin City Corps, said Covid­19­re­lated job losses had added to the dif­fi­cul­ties be­ing faced by some Dunedin fam­i­lies this Christmas.

Capt McEwen said about 300 fam­ily Christmas ham­pers would be re­quired in the city this year, a ‘‘huge in­crease’’ on 130 last year, and gift­ing ef­forts would help.

 ?? PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN ?? Gift­ing con­tin­ues . . . Merid­ian Mall mar­ket­ing manager Stacey Men­zies and Cap­tain David McEwen, of the Sal­va­tion Army Dunedin City Corps sit be­side a new Tree of Light char­i­ta­ble gift­ing tree up­stairs at the mall yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: GER­ARD O’BRIEN Gift­ing con­tin­ues . . . Merid­ian Mall mar­ket­ing manager Stacey Men­zies and Cap­tain David McEwen, of the Sal­va­tion Army Dunedin City Corps sit be­side a new Tree of Light char­i­ta­ble gift­ing tree up­stairs at the mall yes­ter­day.

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