C'mon, show the gift of giving

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2013
Southland Times  Christmas Tree Appeal
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
THAT'S THE SPIRIT: The Southland Times customer services assistants Lisa Stratford, left, and Kim Peepe hold some of the presents donated for the Christmas Tree Appeal.

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Southlanders can become Santa's helpers and spread a bit of cheer this festive season.

On Christmas Eve children staying at the Women's Refuge will hang their stocking up like thousands of other children in the region and wait patiently for Santa to visit.

But refuge co-ordinator Cathy Robertson said many families in contact with the refuge would need a helping hand to fill them up.

"We always want Santa to come to the safe house as well."

Mrs Robertson expected to have several families at the refuge on Christmas Day, with the safe houses all presently full.

Families tried their hardest to make the day special for their children, but help from the community often eased the festive season stress, she said.

Southlanders had always been generous in helping families in need at the refuge and she hoped it would continue this year.

The Southland Times commercial manager Sue Gregory echoed Mrs Robertson's sentiment and said the Esk St business would be running its Christmas Tree Appeal to lend a helping hand.

A Christmas tree has been set up and decorated at the Times' office in the hope people would bring in gifts for families at the refuge and receiving support from the organisation.

She said the appeal was about giving back to the community, but most importantly about Southland pulling together for a worthy cause.

"It absolutely fantastic to give back to the community and it's always great to see how many people actually contribute to our tree."

The public has until December 20 to donate to the appeal. Gifts and non-perishable food were all appreciated as well as presents for older children and teenagers.

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