Readers dig deep to boost Christmas appeal
It's going to be the best Christmas ever and it's all thanks to you.
The response to the Manukau Courier-Salvation Army Christmas appeal has been overwhelming.
Santa's charity workshop has sent out more than 4000 toys to needy children living in South Auckland.
That's 1000 more than it had to send out in 2012.
Toy appeal co-ordinator Erin Siu says it has been a wonderful season.
There has been a greater variety of toys which has made it easier to make up a good gift pack for each child, she says.
"We have had a lot more people coming through but we have been able to cater to them.
"Sometimes we have to turn away people requesting toys but this year we haven't."
Queues have been forming outside the army's Manukau doors every day in the lead-up to Christmas.
Ms Siu says a lot of people are struggling to pay higher rents or pay off old debt.
Donations of new toys are distributed to families and community agencies that use Salvation Army services.
Organisations such as Housing New Zealand, Kidz First Children's Hospital and women's refuge Camellia House will receive some of the gifts from the appeal.
Sallies service manager Ross Richards has said thank you on behalf of his staff to the South Auckland community.
"We are just so overwhelmed with the response this year.
"Without your help many children would be going without this festive season."
Manukau Courier editor Judith Tucker has added her thanks too.
"Every year I'm amazed at the generosity of our readers - this year's the best yet.
"So pat yourselves on the back South Auckland - your generous hearts will help make thousands of children happy this Christmas."