Every gift counts

VANITA PRASAD
Last updated 05:00 18/12/2012
appeal WEL
VANITA PRASAD

CHRISTMAS FEVER: Bethany, 8, Teddy, 4, and Riley, 5, Hochuli are three of the children who benefited from last year’s Kmart Wishing Tree appeal.

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Bethany, Teddy and Riley Hochuli are quite aware they have to be good to get presents this Christmas.

But some children won't be getting presents without a little help from the community - no matter how well behaved they are.

The Henderson Salvation Army Faith Factory has 3000 children on its list that it needs to get presents out to through the Kmart Wishing Tree appeal.

But the charity is well below its target with just six sleeps to go until Christmas Day.

Olivia Hochuli, whose children benefited from the appeal last year, says the charity means a lot for parents and youngsters alike.

"When you go into the present room it's the most overwhelming feeling and there was something for all my kids. The community is our Santa and it makes the magic of Christmas."

Ms Hochuli has been visiting the Salvation Army for four years and says with its help she's been able to make big changes in her life including returning to work.

"I feel like I've really grown there. I felt really welcome," she says.

"If it wasn't for these guys helping me out I wouldn't be where I am right now."

But Ms Hochuli says even though she's working, it's very difficult to keep on top of expenses.

"It gets to the point where you're paying the bills and working with the budgeter to pay everything off in weekly payments and there's nothing left," she says.

"We've had times where I've had to do the week's food shopping for the family with only $37 dollars."

Mrs Hochuli says the family would go hungry without food parcels.

Henderson Salvation Army operations manager Rhondda Middleton says Ms Hochuli is very good at making a little go a long way and her regular baking for the charity is always well received.

Mrs Middleton says there are many deserving people who work hard to be self-sufficient that the charity supports over Christmas period.

"There are definitely the ones who make an effort to change and have done some hard hard stuff to make that happen and well done to them."

The charity also works alongside agencies including the Dayspring Trust, Barnardos and the McLaren Park and Henderson South Initiative which assist families in the west.

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- Western Leader

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