Sponsors help spread Christmas cheer

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012
Brenda King
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
FESTIVE BOOST: Salvation Army food bank co-ordinator Brenda King prepares a hamper similar to those being donated by sponsors for struggling families this Christmas.

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It will be an easier Christmas for more than 55 struggling Invercargill families after the success of a sponsorship programme run by the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army Invercargill Community Ministries this year introduced its Adopt-A-Family programme, which gives businesses and individuals a chance to sponsor a family during Christmas by providing them with a hamper filled with food and treats. Sponsors could also include gifts, especially for children, and treats such as potato chips, fruit and nuts.

Hamper recipients were identified by Salvation Army staff and matched with volunteer sponsors.

Salvation Army foodbank co-ordinator Brenda King said yesterday that the programme had so far attracted 57 sponsors, who were excited about the prospect of helping a struggling family for Christmas.

The size of the hamper did not matter, she said.

"Whatever the families get is going to be a bonus because they're really struggling."

Mrs King said sponsors had been getting behind the concept and contacting her to ask about shoe and clothing sizes and children's interests.

The programme had been a huge success and would run again next year.

"People out there in the community really care," she said.

Hampers can be delivered to the Salvation Army foodbank in Tay St by December 19, and families will later collect them there.

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- The Southland Times

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