Festive generosity overwhelms family
Planning is already under way for this year's Adopt-A-Family programme after the Salvation Army labelled the first a huge success.
The Salvation Army Invercargill Community Ministries last year introduced the programme, which gave businesses and individuals a chance to sponsor a family during Christmas.
Hamper recipients were identified by Salvation Army staff and matched with volunteer sponsors. The recipients - 63 families and 146 children - were given hampers filled with food and gifts.
Salvation Army food bank co-ordinator Brenda King said she was blown away by the desire of the community to help.
Recipients' reactions were tearful and overwhelming, she said.
Donated gifts included bicycles, a baby stroller, a camera, scrapbook supplies and a basketball hoop, she said.
The programme was a success and would be run again this year.
Among the recipients were a struggling mother and her four children. The woman said her family had planned to forgo Christmas but were overwhelmed when they received a hamper.
The hamper included a Christmas tree, water slide, flying alarm clock, play dough and a Barbie doll, which her youngest child had since carted everywhere, she said.
She said the hamper "made" their Christmas and the tree had started a new tradition.
It had brought the family closer together and every year they planned to sit down together and make decorations for it.
The "amazing" food given to them was a blessing after their home was burgled in November and all the food taken from the freezer, she said.
"It made Christmas extra special . . . I don't think we would have celebrated Christmas. It would have been just another day.
"It was just overwhelming."
- © Fairfax NZ News
Your club information portal, post or view your sports fixtures, results and general information.
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.
Buy copies of photos featured in The Southland Times.