Wishing tree donations down 78pct

  • 18/12/2015

A national initiative to give 50,000 gifts to needy New Zealand families is tracking well-below its target.

Just 10,990 presents, or 22 percent, have been donated to The Salvation Army-backed Kmart Wishing Tree from, with another 39,000 required to reach the stated target.

The Salvation Army's social services secretary major Pam Waugh says contributions to the appeal can help struggling families better plan for other costs and avoid going into debt.

"Low-income, struggling families face the same social pressures as any other Kiwi family," she said.

"In wanting to give their families a happy Christmas, it's easy for some to lose sight of the wider financial implications of their Christmas spending and fall into debt."

The Salvation Army hopes to assist about 17,000 families by the Wishing Tree appeal.