Kids learn gift of giving

MONICA TISCHLER
Last updated 08:56 23/12/2013
Xmas Pets
JULIAN RAETHEAL

SPREADING HAPPINESS: Porse children Millie Story, 3, left, Peyton Slow, 2, and Sarah Louden, 3, have learnt about the importance of giving and are among those donating presents to the Kmart Wishing Tree appeal.

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"Sharing is caring" and "teamwork" are virtues a group of children in Porse in-home childcare know well.

And they've acted upon the morals by spreading joy to less fortunate children this festive season.

In the lead-up to Christmas the children, aged two and three years, have each chosen a gift and placed it under the Wishing Tree at Henderson's Kmart store.

More than 2300 presents have been donated.

Gifts are then taken to the Salvation Army and will be shared among struggling families today so they can unwrap them on Christmas morning.

Nanny educator Wendy Claxton runs Porse childcare in her Glen Eden home and has organised for the five children she cares for to take part in the appeal.

Ms Claxton says she's taught the children about family and how Christmas is a time for love and sharing.

"I teach the children that there are others out there with mums and dads who love them but can't afford to buy them presents," she says.

"It's about spreading the happiness."

Ms Claxton says it's important for today's generation to understand the true meaning of Christmas.

"It saddens me that Christmas is often about greed.

"There's a lot of pressure on families about whether they can afford to pay their accounts and buy their child a gift," Ms Claxton says.

She say's it's heartening seeing the children she cares for get excited about helping others feel joy this Christmas.

Henderson Salvation Army church pastor Stu Tong says West Auckland schools and early childhood centres including Henderson Intermediate School, Waitakere College and Bright Sparks Childcare have donated food and toys.

"It's been really helpful.

"When I picked up the toys and food at Bright Sparks I was able to talk to the children at their level and help them understand that there will be other children out there who won't have a Christmas unless they get toys or food," Mr Tong says.

The appeal is organised by Kmart and The Salvation Army and aims to supply 4000 West Auckland families with gifts this Christmas.

Kmart sales assistant Jennie Ormsby says the store appreciates the support people have given to the appeal.

Today is the last day for people to donate wrapped or unwrapped items like food, clothes or toys under the Wishing Tree in Kmart Henderson.

Goods can also be dropped off at Henderson Salvation Army, 7 View Rd, or by making an online donation.

Visit wishingtree.kmart.co.nz to donate.

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