Toys will bring joy

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 12:29 12/12/2012

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Bring joy to a child's life this Christmas by donating a toy to the Salvation Army toy collection.

There are six days left until the collection closes on Monday when staff at the Salvation Army will sort the toys and create Christmas parcels for needy families around Marlborough.

According to the Salvation Army Blenheim community ministries manager, Joyce Somerville, the organisation has been collecting toys for less fortunate children for more than 20 years.

"It is a nationwide campaign," said Joyce, who has been involved for 16 years first as a volunteer then as an employee at Salvation Army for the past 11 years.

"It's really good to know that kids who possibly wouldn't get anything will be getting Christmas presents - kids really look forward to Christmas."

She explained that various organisations such as Birthright and Barnardos as well as Marlborough churches send in lists of families whom they have identified as needing help over Christmas.

The Salvation Army fills the gap by collecting, sorting and packaging the toys, which are then delivered to the various families by the organisations and churches.

Other than individual donations by the public to the Salvation Army there are also three other drives to collect toys on their behalf.

The Marlborough Ulysses Motorcycle Club hold a large toy run, which is in its fourth year, and the Marlborough Express have a collection basket in their offices.

The popular musical group TEMPO (Today's Emerging Musicians Performing Onstage) hold a Christmas show, with the entry being a donation of a toy.

"We do this each year, and it's really good to get behind a worthy cause like the toy collection," said TEMPO events organiser Jocelyn Ricketts.

This year's show drew a packed audience, with around eight boxes of toys being collected as a result.

"The Ulysses club do a great job collecting toys and the box at the Express has been one of my main sources - I empty it at least once a week," said Joyce.

Toys are collected for kids up to 12 years old and there has so far been a good spread of toys to suit all the ages, boys and girls.

Toy donations can be made to the Salvation Army office on the corner of George and Henry streets, Blenheim.

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- The Marlborough Express

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