Kmart Penrith and the Salvation Army are sharing the Christmas spirit for those who are doing it tough with the launch of this year’s Wishing Tree Appeal.
On Tuesday, a special ceremony was held at the store which saw song, dance and magic performances from Henry Fulton Public School and Magic Macy.
Kmart is now calling on the community to dig deep and make a child’s day by donating a gift to struggling families this Christmas.
Wishing Tree Champion, Sarah Mills, said the drive is a chance for Penrith to do their bit and give back.
“Each year this appeal helps thousands of Australians with close to 400,000 gifts collected each year,” she said.
“We kindly ask that people consider giving a gift that will help beyond Christmas, this year we want to focus on helping those in need all year round, working with the Salvation Army to make sure the appeal helps where it’s needed.”
The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is Australia’s largest and longest running Christmas gift appeal.
Last year the Penrith store received a generous 3944 gifts and this Christmas are hoping to reach 4000.
“It allows kids to be a part of the community, if they’re the only one who doesn’t get presents or look forward to Christmas it further ostracises them, these things allow them to be able to go to their friends and say ‘look what I got,’ now they can get excited,” Salvation Army Corporate Officer, Major Gary Smith said
On this year’s wish list is books, sporting equipment, school supplies, headphones, arts and craft, toiletries, educational toys and musical instruments.
Anyone can give to the Appeal, whether that be placing a gift under the tree, a donation at the register, scanning a bauble tag off the tree or even giving online.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.