11 Dec 2015

Sallies call for brand new toys

9:36 am on 11 December 2015

The Salvation Army is unapologetic about asking for brand new toy donations for needy families this Christmas.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Last year the social welfare organisation dealt with 17,000 families and dished out 40,000 presents to children in need.

But this year, the Army has requested donations of brand new toys and presents for children over secondhand ones, the Salvation Army's territorial social services secretary Major Pam Waugh said.

"We're talking about a group of children here who have very few material possessions and there's a stigma attached to that, so we're acutely aware that at Christmas time, the children from these families deserve to have something nice and new under the tree that says that's theirs, and makes their Christmas a bit more special."

The parents in need became very excited when they saw the new presents that they could choose from for their children, Major Waugh said.

"You can see the excitement, you can also see the tears of relief and gratitude. It makes a difference for these children to have something new that's particularly theirs and has been chosen especially for them by their families.

"Poverty often sets them apart from their peers, they're socially isolated from some of the other activities they can take part in, so this is one way to make them feel a little bit more special."

Major Waugh said they cater for all children under 17, but the teenagers were particularly hard.

"It's always a hard choice what to give your teenagers anyway, but we cater for all the children, but if people can think of teenagers, we're really grateful for that."

Old toys would still be used if they were suitable.

"We put them up for families to take, some of the things are really good and we're grateful for that."

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