Whanganui Midweek

Secret Santa benefits Women’s Refuge

- Paul Brooks

There’s a Christmas tree in the shop window at Silvesters at 137 Victoria Ave. The shop is renowned for quality bags, hats, luggage and accessorie­s. But the Christmas tree is for something else entirely: it’s for the Women’s Refuge Silvesters’ Secret Santa Gift Drive.

Proprietor Danielle Philp-Wright says the business has always been involved with the community in the way of charity fundraisin­g, but it’s not something they share, it’s just something they do.

She says this year one of “the girls” came up with the idea of a Secret Santa with gifts going to a charity. Women’s Refuge was agreed upon by all. “We’re all women in here and a lot of our customers are women. With Christmas, people go through hard times, money’s tight and I can imagine it’s even harder with Covid. So we thought it would be fun to do a Secret

Santa where people see someone’s thinking of them and that they’ve got support: the kids can have something, too. That’s what inspired us to do something and dedicate our window.”

People can donate gifts from anywhere, or Silvesters will discount any regular-priced item in store by 30 per cent if it’s going to the drive.

“We will wrap them for free and put them under the tree and it can go to somebody in need,” says Danielle. “We’re all really excited about it.”

Women’s Refuge Silvesters’ Secret Santa Gift Drive is on until December 23, when everything under the tree will be given to Women’s Refuge.

“It can be anything — household items, toys . . . whatever you think would be useful. We want to involve everybody, not just our customers. We have little gift tags so you can write a special note so it has that personal touch.”

 ?? Photo / Paul Brooks ?? Danielle PhilpWrigh­t with the Silvesters’ Christmas tree.
Photo / Paul Brooks Danielle PhilpWrigh­t with the Silvesters’ Christmas tree.

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