Waikato residents have jumped into the spirit of Christmas this season, adopting the motto of 'the more you give, the more you have' with hundreds of donated toys filling The Hits Toy Run bus this week to give to children in need.
The Toy Run kicked off last weekend in Hamilton, visiting Flex Fitness in the CBD, New World Rototuna, Ssangyong in Te Rapa and Mitre 10 Mega at Ruakura. The Hits bus then hit the road to Morrinsville, Thames, Paeroa, Waihi and Te Aroha on Monday, before heading down to Matamata, Putaruru and Tokoroa on Tuesday.
Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Otorohanga and Te Kuiti were the destinations for the bus on Wednesday, before today's trips to Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Raglan.
As part of the Cambridge trip, The Hits Toy Run Bus visited Cambridge East Primary School, where the students gifted over 100 of their own toys.
Principal Hamish Fenemor said it was terrific to see the students taking part in the spirit of giving.
"Every year we get many different charities wanting us to take part in fundraising on their behalf or to add value to their cause, and for us, this is one of two we have chosen to be part of this year," Mr Fenemor said.
"To see the bus come to our school and allowing the students to see the amount of toys that have been donated is amazing."
Mr Fenemor said it was important for the students to know that giving back is also a major part of Christmas
"In our community we are fortunate that we are in a quite privileged area, so it's really nice that the kids are able to give back."
The Hits Waikato radio host Blair Dowling said it was great to see kids giving.
"That's the thing I love. These kids have had toys bought for them and they have decided to pass them on which is really cool," Mr Dowling said.
"That's what Christmas is really about."
He said turnout has been strong this year with the bus nearly full by Wednesday.
The Toy Run is also sponsored by the St Vincent De Paul Society which is making sure every kid in the Waikato has the best Christmas possible.
In Hamilton the 27m giant Christmas tree is lighting up every night with plenty more Christmas events throughout the season, including the annual First Credit Union Parade this Sunday, December 8 at 2pm.
The parade, organised by the Hamilton Christmas Charitable Trust, is a must do Christmas experience for the young and the young at heart.
There are 89 floats in the parade this year, which makes it the largest parade in the city in the recent years.
Come down to Anglesea St on Sunday — the pre-parade entertainment begins at 1.15pm. See crazy characters, lively marching bands, dance group, ethnic groups, characters, and amazing character balloons. Special guests this year will a float featuring the characters from the children's cartoon PJ Masks; and of course Santa Claus will be there.