With just under two weeks to go of the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal, the Rotorua Salvation Army is thrilled with the response so far and encourages people to use the remaining time to contribute.
The appeal is running until December 22, and the Rotorua Daily Post, in conjunction with the Rotorua Weekender and The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM, is seeking non-perishable food donations to help the Salvation Army foodbank continue its good work.
Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye thought the appeal was tracking well so far this year.
She said food donations were still coming in and they encouraged people to continue donating so that the Salvation Army could help families, not just at Christmas time, but also into the coming year.
"We are thrilled with what we've had so far."
Overbye said the Salvation Army was looking to give out about 120 Christmas hampers and they would like to give the children of all those families some gifts in the hampers
She encouraged people to consider donating a nice little gift that could go to a child.
She said they had been getting some gifts coming in during the appeal.
As of yesterday afternoon, the running count of items donated
Overbye said the estimated monetary value was about $24,453.
The items included those from Fill the Bus and gifts donated through the Kmart Wishing Tree, she said.
"We are absolutely thrilled the community is behind us and supporting us with the Christmas Food Drive Appeal."
She said the donations helped families in need to cope, not just at Christmas but also into the new year.
Overbye said food support was a way the Salvation Army could connect with people and bring them some relief.
She said providing food support could help alleviate financial pressure in other areas families needed support in, such as power, rent and school costs.
"We really want to say a massive thank you to those who have already supported it."
She said the community's support was also shown in how people had given their time.
"I've noticed the community are really involved and on board with the events going on.
"We have been overwhelmed with people showing up to help us with counting, sorting and stacking, and generally serving the community.
"We are a small team here, but many hands have made light work."
This year's appeal recently received a great boost with the community recently getting behind the annual Fill the Bus event.
The tally of food items collected from Fill the Bus was 5844.
This is a record for the Fill the Bus food drive, with last year's efforts totalling at 5357.