Kmart stores in Mandurah officially launched their wishing tree appeal on Wednesday.
This year marks the 30th Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.
An event at the company’s Halls Head store toasted to the charitable initiative’s milestone.
The celebrations included a performance by Mandurah Catholic College Choir, a speech by Mandurah’s freshly elected mayor Rhys Williams and sweet treats for attendees.
Halls Head store manager Julie Januszkiewicz thanked Mr Williams, the choir and community members for helping launch their 2017 appeal.
During the festive season Kmart works in close partnership with The Salvation Army to support members of the community in need.
In his speech Mr Williams said Christmas was a time of giving, to come together and to reflect on Mandurah’s positive community spirit.
“Christmas is a time for us to support those in our community who need it,” he said.
“We've all had times in our lives when we've done it tough.”
He urged people to give generously and even brought a gift to place under the tree.
Mr Williams said the appeal was a great initiative and joked that it had been running longer than he’d been alive.
At the event Mandurah Salvation Army captain Erica Cossington spoke about the unique community, locals were fortunate to live in.
She said Mandurah was “the only place in Australia where all the agencies work together” during the festive season.
Ms Cossington said more than 1300 families would receive Christmas hampers in Mandurah and the surrounding area this year.
“None of it would be possible without your generous gifts,” she said.
With more than 2.9 million Australians currently living in poverty, Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift appeal will once again support children, adults, seniors and families who are unable to afford gifts at Christmas and beyond.
To date, the appeal has collected more than eight million gifts.
All Aussies are encouraged to dig deep and help celebrate 30 years of the appeal by giving in store or online.
Kmart Managing director Ian Bailey said the appeal had grown significantly over the past 30 years.
“We’re proud that the appeal has become a long-standing Christmas tradition for many Aussies and we know that this generosity is felt long after the holiday season,” he said.
The Salvation Army’s secretary for communication lieutenant colonel Neil Venables, thanked supporters of the appeal and said their efforts made a significant difference to the lives of others.
“During December, The Salvation Army assists three times more people compared to any other month due to increased financial pressure at Christmas with extra bills, upcoming back-to-school costs, special meals and holiday activities for the children added on to everyday living expenses,” he said.
“Through our partnership with Kmart and thanks to the generosity of Australians nationwide, we are able to provide gifts to those who would otherwise go without, not just at Christmas but at any time of the year. The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal truly does give hope where it’s needed most.”
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal officially launches nationwide in all Kmart stores on November 15 and will run until December 24.
Gifts don’t have to be purchased from Kmart.
Get involved in the Appeal by:
- Placing a gift under the Wishing Tree at any Kmart store nationally.
- Dropping your spare change in a coin collection box at any register.
- Taking a bauble tag off the Wishing Tree and scan the barcode at any register to contribute.
- Giving online at kmart.com.au/wishingtree.