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Churches rally to make Christmas special

The Christian Churches in Paeroa are appealing for donations of gifts to make Christmas special for children who would otherwise miss out.

A Christmas Toy Appeal is now underway, with residents asked to drop unwrapped gifts under a tree in the Paeroa Information Hub.

Last year, around 180 presents were gifted to children in need, Paeroa Baptist Church secretary Glenys Lewis said. 

While she’d like to think that number could be reduced, the need for the appeal is ever-present, she said.

“With all that’s gone on this year with people losing jobs, we probably will be doing at least that or perhaps a few more this year.” 

The annual appeal has been running for two decades, and its success was owed to the generosity of the public’s giving, Lewis said.

“Some of the stuff we get donated is absolutely fantastic.

“We contact about 20 organisations in the town and they supply the names [of the children] and their age, and we put it down on labels, wrap the presents, and then the organisations come and pick all the presents up. 

“It is very personal for the child,” she said. 

Donated gifts are to be new, near new, or in excellent condition, and donations of wrapping paper and tape are also gratefully accepted.

“I think every child deserves a Christmas. They see so much advertising, they hear about it, and hear what other children have in their lives, and I think it’s really important that these children are treated specially so that they have something for themselves at Christmas,” Lewis said.

Drop-off is at the Paeroa Info Hub, situated in the old post office building in the centre of town. Place gifts under the Christmas tree by Wednesday, December 9.