Major Jill Knight of the Salvation Army with some of the presents they have been donated to distribute to children around the Nelson region. Photo: Simon Bloomberg.

Hundreds of presents donated for local kids


The Salvation Army has received a great response from the community to their annual Christmas appeal for families in need throughout the region.

The Salvation Army collects donated Christmas presents every year and distributes them to over 740 disadvantaged families throughout Nelson, Richmond and Wakefield. The families include Salvation Army community ministry clients, as well as people listed with various agencies such as Family Start, Koru Trust, Whakatu Marae, Refugee Services, Angel In My Street and Nelson Women’s Support.

Salvation Army Major, Jill Knight, says the presents are donated by the community and delivered to various drop-off points across Nelson and Richmond. The appeal started with the launch of the Wishing Tree at Kmart in Richmond and was followed by the Ulysses Toy Run and contributions from dozens of schools, community groups and businesses.

“It’s been an amazing response,” Jill says. “We have got around 950 presents so far and the team are busy wrapping them up.

“The quality of the presents has also been excellent. We are amazed at the number of new items such as scooters and box sets. Our clients receive second-hand items all year round, so it is great that the message is getting through and we are able to provide new gifts – they are going to have a wonderful Christmas.”

Jill says one of the most rewarding things is when a family who has received presents in the past says that they don’t need it this year. “Because it’s great to see growth and them taking on the responsibility of Christmas”.

The Salvation Army has also received a reasonable response for their food parcels, which were being wrapped by volunteers from Rabobank last Thursday.

Anyone who would like to donate presents or food go to the Salvation Army website,