A string of generous donations from Napier businesses has given the annual Hawke's Bay Christmas Cheer Appeal a great early boost.
The cash fund, which is essential to help pay for the special Christmas food packs which will go out to the less fortunate in the community, got off to a good start when $807 was raised at the Mitre 10 Mega Ladies Night last week.
Those who attended were asked for a gold coin donation and they delivered generously.
The ladies who attended also took along books and toys for the Cheer gift pile - more than two trolleys full.
With the donations from the past couple of days added, the cash fund has tipped the $1500 mark already as business and social groups do their bit to make Christmas a happier time for those who would otherwise struggle to put something special on the table or under the tree.
Along with the donations, there was also a $200 firewood voucher from A1 Firewood which will ease one family's winter warming worries.
An annual supporter of the appeal is the Spirit of Napier Lions Club and they again rose to the occasion with $250 for the fund.
The gifts have started to arrive under the tree in the Napier office of Hawke's Bay Today, with several people calling to leave bags of toys - including a wonderful English bulldog in a Union Jack coat.
Some boxes of chocolates and tinned goods have also been dropped off.
The Napier City Council Social Club also had a round-up and put together an attractive box of toys.
People wanting to donate to the 2012 Hawke's Bay Christmas Cheer Appeal can do so at the Napier and Hastings offices of Hawke's Bay Today, the Hastings, Havelock North and Flaxmere public libraries, Paper Plus in Taradale , Classic Hits Napier, Toyworld and Mitre 10 Mega in Hastings and Napier.
Three cash donation accounts will be run so donors can nominate for their money to go to Napier, Hastings or the joint account.
Toys and books for children, and gifts for teenagers and adults are sought for gift parcels, along with non-perishable foodstuffs.
The appeal runs until December 21.
Hawke's Bay Christmas Cheer Appeal Donations
Mitre 10 Mega Ladies Night $807
Ian Dick Concrete Contractors $50
HB Paving Ltd $80
Butler and Hewitt $50
Charlie Hill and Co $100
Bisson Moss $150
Spirit of Napier Lions Club $250
Telfer Young $100