People are urged to help bring Christmas to under-privileged families this year.
More than 3000 West Auckland children will be relying on community generosity to get presents and food through the Henderson Salvation Army Christmas Appeal and the Kmart Wishing Tree.
But the Salvation Army says donations are well under that number.
West Auckland operations manager Rhondda Middleton says staff have already had to turn away some families.
"One of the families we're working with, the dad has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in five years and he has four children. And a lot of families have lost work this year.
"Our budgeting service has increased by another third and so a lot of people are trying but once they pay the bills that doesn't leave a lot for Christmas."
Donated presents are already being given to families this week so the Salvation Army urgently needs donations to keep up with demand.
Mrs Middleton also says teenagers are often forgotten and that vouchers are a good option for them.
"All of these families are making really good choices, but their money can only go so far," Mrs Middleton says.
"We want to honour them for the hard work they're doing.
"Life is hard and we want them to know that life can be really kind.
"Our community is such a generousone and we know it can come through for us."
WISHING TREES Donations to the Christmas Appeal can be placed at Kmart Henderson's Wishing Tree or taken to the Salvation Army at the Faith Factory on View Rd, Henderson. The Salvation Army will be open until 2pm Saturday and until noon on Monday.
- Western Leader
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