The Wishing Tree Appeal Christmas Tradition

The Wishing Tree Appeal is Australia’s largest Christmas gift appeal. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Australians, the Appeal has collected more than 4.9 million gifts for people in need over the past 22 years.

In this, its 23rd year, as we aim for more than 450,000 gifts nationally – 40,000 in South Australia – it will receive its 5 millionth gift at some point this year.

With interest rates and utilities costs on the rise, more and more families will be doing it tough this December 25th and no-one wants to see a child miss out on Christmas Day.   The Salvation Army has reported an increase of 10 percent in the number of families registering for the Appeal this Christmas – with some coming from areas/suburbs not traditionally associated with requiring assistance.  Last year, nationally, 80,000 people sought help from the Salvos for the first time!

The concept for the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal first came about when a South Australian store employee suggested Kmart use its network of stores as gift collection points, assisting charity groups at Christmas time.  Who is that person – we’d love to know – despite best efforts, we’ve been unable to find them but hundreds of thousands of Australians say ‘thank you’!

To participate in the Appeal simply place a gift (either wrapped or unwrapped) under the Wishing Tree located at every Kmart store.  Take a tag from the tree to specify the age and gender of a suitable recipient and place it with your gift.

Gifts do not need to be purchased from Kmart.  They can be purchased from any retailer or handmade.  Kmart simply acts as a facilitator, enabling The Salvation Army to collect the donated gifts from Kmart stores and oversee their distribution to people in need.

Alternatively, donors can make a cash contribution at any Kmart store register or visit to contribute online.  Cash contributions will be converted by Kmart into Kmart gift cards, allowing Appeal recipients to choose their own Christmas gift.

The 2010 Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal will run from 16 November until Christmas Eve.

For many Australians, giving to the Wishing Tree Appeal has become a Christmas tradition and it is heavily relied upon by the Salvation Army to provide support to families in need at Christmas.

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