Despite a slow start, Auckland City Mission's annual appeal raised enough to give food parcels and presents to almost 4000 families.

In the two-and-a-half weeks leading up to Christmas, 3983 families visited the mission for a food parcel and presents for their children - but that was only possible because of the generosity of Aucklanders.

Ten days before Christmas the mission was in despair because of a lack of donations to meet the need.

But kind-hearted and generous Aucklanders responded, Auckland City missioner Chris Farrelly said.


The mission needed to raise $1.3 million to support its work and Farrelly said, as of today, $1.21 million has been raised, and a number of donations still have to be processed.

Farrelly said he was deeply grateful for Aucklanders' support.

"The mission is the hands, heart and conscience of our city and this is never more evident than at Christmas time. The mission reaches capacity in the lead-up to Christmas and it is only the fantastic support of the community that enables us to provide for all those families turning up at our door.

"We see the very best of our city during these few weeks: children who donate their pocket money to buy a present for a child who would go without, hundreds of work places, schools, churches and community organisations who do food and present drives, 1200 volunteers who assist either in the lead-up to Christmas or on Christmas Day, and thousands of people who make a financial donation to support our work."

The mission's Christmas appeal was its largest fundraising drive, as it raised crucial money for December but in the busy few months at the beginning of the year when low-income families felt the pressure of the long Christmas break and the start of the school year, he said.