New red and silver decorations will add some extra sparkle to the large Christmas tree at the front entrance to Palmerston North Hospital – the focal point for this year’s annual Christmas present and food drive appeal.
The Christmas tree is now up, and many departments are being decorated festively signalling the start of the Christmas season. MidCentral DHB is asking staff, and the public, to help spread the Christmas cheer to needy families from around the district.
This is the 12th year MDHB has joined with the Kmart Wishing Tree appeal, which will run at Palmerston North Hospital for three weeks starting today until 5pm on Wednesday 23 December. A separate appeal at Horowhenua Health Centre will also start today and finish on Friday 18 December with food and presents being distributed locally.
Gifts are distributed throughout the region by Salvation Army and the Methodist Social Services. Last year MDHB’s combined effort was around 1000 presents - a fantastic result.
Non-perishable food items are also welcomed and the Salvation Army food bank will benefit from any food donations in Palmerston North. If your Palmerston North food bank appeal bag did not get collected on Saturday, or you were away, bring it into the hospital and it will be distributed to local people in need in time for Christmas. Presents and food dropped off at the Horowhenua Health Centre will be collected and distributed by the Levin Salvation Army.
At Palmerston North Hospital, gifts and non-perishable food items can be left in a food bin under the giant Christmas tree inside the main entrance. At Horowhenua Health Centre contributions can be left at the front reception.
Both new and pre-loved presents are greatly appreciated, however any pre-loved gifts need to be complete and in good condition. People are also encouraged to look at $2-type shops for inexpensive gifts. Unwrapped gifts are perfectly acceptable and if presents are wrapped people are asked to indicate the appropriate gender and age of the recipient. Please also remember that teenage boys around 12-15 years are a group the Salvation Army staff find difficult to source presents for.
Staple, non-perishable food, such as cereals, rice, pasta, spreads, milk powder, flour, sugar, and tinned meat, fish, vegetables, and baby food are the most practical gifts to donate. Packet or tinned soups, spaghetti and baked beans, Milo, coffee, tea bags, and drink sachets are other useful items. Toilet paper, cleaning products and toiletries like shampoos are also welcome, along with nappies. Tinned or packet pet food – especially cat and dog food - are other welcome items. It would also be nice to consider donating some Christmas treats – Christmas cakes, sweets, and other Christmas goodies.
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945