Hamilton kids drive Christmas giving

Unheralded generosity saw toys in their hundreds donated in response to Hamilton breakfast host Mark Bunting's Classic Hits toy drive.

No stranger to successful promotions, Mark describes the unselfishness of Waikato children as "absolutely amazing".

"This Christmas promotion would be the most successful Christmas drive we have experienced."

The toys will be picked up and distributed by volunteers from the Salvation Army's The Nest.

"We asked children to share some of their extra toys, says Mark. "We said if they felt they had lots of toys, or they had toys which they hadn't played with or books they no longer read they could donate them to children who were looking forward to a bleak Christmas.

"The response has been phenomenal. Toys, books, games, cuddly toys ... they just keep coming.

"A lot of needy children will be very happy."

Mark says when Salvation Army people rang and asked what type of vehicle they should send to collect the toys, he didn't know what to say.

"It will either take one huge truck or lots of trips in a van.

Many of the donated toys were this year destined to be distributed throughout the central North Island through the Salvation Army's Tokoroa branch.

Army budgeting officer Major Lindsay Chisholm says the Classic Hits drive was so successful some children in struggling families would be getting more than one Christmas gift.

"South Waikato and central areas is where the biggest need was this year," he says.

Major Chisholm says public generosity was also apparent with donations of food flooding into the Salvation Army foodbank this week.

- Hamilton News

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