The Ngongotaha Medical Centre has, for the fifth year in a row, put its collection box out as part of the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal.

Medical centre administrator Christine Hands, who began the tradition, said she couldn't wait to see the community support after an overwhelming response last year.

"The Salvation Army does such a great job of helping people out but they can't always do it on their own, which is why I want to give them a hand." She said she was determined the tradition would carry on as long as she was there.

This year's Christmas Appeal, run in conjunction with the Rotorua Weekender and The HIts 97.5, is collecting non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Salvation Army Foodbank.

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"Each year the community engagement has got better and better and it'll be interesting to see if the trend continues. We had about four boxes of food and toys last year and we hope this year will be the same."

Support for the cause had grown significantly, with local businesses such as Foursquare and the Post Shop on board. Medical centre patients were also dropping food and toys off on their way in.

"It's getting better each year but at the same time it's getting worse. More and more families are struggling with the cost of food and other necessities so the community is rallying to help out those in need."

"Helping others less fortunate has always been my passion. I especially don't like to see the little kiddies have no Christmas. Even if they only get something small, it's still something."