Otago Daily Times
Tree tradition carries on
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.