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MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOMEONE IN NEED

12/November/2021

Kmart launches annual Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal with charity partner, The Salvation Army

 

Kmart Australia will officially launch its Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal alongside founding charity partner, The Salvation Army, on Monday 8 November. This year marks 34 years of Australia’s largest and longest-running gift collection, which aims to create a brighter Christmas and New Year for the most vulnerable in our community.

In 2021, Kmart and The Salvation Army are spreading a ‘small gift, big heart’ message, letting Aussies know that even the smallest gesture can go a long way. With many ways for people to give, it’s easy to take part and make a difference for someone in need. Whether it’s dropping a new gift, or important essentials such as books, school supplies, socks and towels in store under the Wishing Tree or making a monetary contribution. Funds raised will go towards providing locally responsive support services and emergency relief.

New for the 2021 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is the introduction of sustainable Wishing Trees in store which are made from 100  percent  recyclable,  renewable  and  reusable  cardboard  and  an  Express  Drop  Off  point  outside  all  stores  for  those wanting to donate without entering.

Kmart’s Community Relations Advisor, Frankie Swithinbank says, “It is so important to us at Kmart to be able to run such an impactful initiative year after year and it’s exciting to include important new elements to the 2021 Appeal, such as the sustainable trees that people can adorn with handwritten stickers. We are humbled to see local groups coming together to support those who need it most.”

After a challenging year and with so many Australians experiencing financial hardship, many for the first time, the significant pressures on physical and mental health have increased the urgent need for support. Between January and June this year, The Salvation Army’s Homelessness services provided more than 154,000 sessions of care to those at risk or experiencing homelessness, up 10 percent compared to the same time last year.

“The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal is a vital opportunity for us to provide support to people right across Australia. There has been an increase in financial support requests coming to us with people struggling with income and job losses, as well as a significant rise in mental health services needed. We know that people have an incredibly generous spirit, and every little donation goes to helping someone in need,” says The Salvation Army’s Captain of Richmond Victoria Corp, Kris Halliday.

There are many ways community groups can get involved in the 2021 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal, including the Small Gifts, Big Hearts Program, a free community-based initiative for schools.. This program provides teachers with activity packs filled with resources and lesson plans to help build awareness of the importance of thinking of others. To get involved head to the Wishing Tree website and sign up to receive your free electronic pack. Corporate packs are also available for workplaces and explores different ways to get involved with the Appeal , whether you are working remotely or in the office. Corporate Packs are also free and easily accessible to download via the Kmart Wishing Tree website.

Practical gifts

Choose a practical gift that will be useful beyond Christmas time and deliver to the Express Drop Off point outside your local Kmart store, or leave it under the new, sustainable recyclable cardboard Wishing Tree in store. Suggested gifts include:

  • Books
  • School supplies
  • Headphones
  • Everyday essentials for all ages such as socks, bed linen and bath towels
  • Gift cards

Monetary contribution

Financial contributions can be made easily too, in a number of different ways:

  • Self-checkout:  When  shopping  in  store  at  Kmart, click the Wishing Tree logo on the self-serve checkout to add to a transaction.
  • Gold coin donation: Drop a gold coin into a collection box at the registers
  • Give online: Scan the Wishing Tree QR code found in store or on the Appeal website

The Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal begins on Monday

8 November and concludes on 24 December 2021 with coin collections running through to the end of January.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Natalie Rixon

Kmart – Public Relations Manager Natalie.rixon@kmart.com.au

Gabrielle Godfrey

Cassette – PR Account Director gabrielle.g@cassette.com.au

 

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About Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal

The idea for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal began when an Adelaide team member suggested Kmart use its wide network of stores as gift collection points to assist charity groups at Christmas and beyond.

In 1987, Kmart came together with founding partner,

The Salvation Army, to bring this idea to fruition and celebrate the power of giving, what is now, Australia and New Zealand’s largest and longest running gift collection Appeal. Thanks to the generosity of the Australian community, the Appeal has raised  more  than  8  million gifts for  people  doing  it  tough,  with  close  to  400,000 gifts being collected and nearly $300,000 in funds every year.

About the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the world’s largest social welfare organisations with more than 1,650,000 members working in over 124 countries. Working in Australia for the last 130 years, The Salvation Army has more than 8,500 active officers and staff delivering in excess of 1000 specifically designed social programs across Australia.

The Salvation Army helps more than 1 million Australians every year. Every week, The Salvation Army provides 100,000 meals, 2,000 beds and 8,000 grocery vouchers for people experiencing homelessness and provides refuse for 500 people fleeing abuse. On any given night, The Salvation Army assists 2,000 people every night with crisis accommodation and provision of essential supplies.

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