With thousands of items donated each year towards the Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal, there are bound to be some different and memorable donations coming through.
The Rotorua Daily Post Christmas Appeal is underway. From now until December 18, the team is seeking non-perishable food donations to help the Salvation Army Foodbank continue its work throughout the Christmas period and into 2022.
Rotorua Salvation Army corps officer Kylie Overbye said on occasion they received items from people who had thought practically but a little outside the square.
"We have received things like floor mops and dish brushes. Someone did donate a pregnancy test once."
Overbye said donations were appreciated. However, on occasion, goods received were past their expiry date.
"We cannot give expired food in parcels. We encourage people to check the dates on the packaging before bringing their donation in."
She said many donations were well thought out. They had once received a well-considered baking kit.
The kit included a cake tin, greaseproof paper, cake mix, spatula, coloured icing tubes for decorating and candles.
"That's a potential family memory to be created right there.
"We actually gave it to a gentleman whose young child was going to spend a week with him and it was going to be his son's birthday.
"All the man wanted was to have enough food for his son in his care, and to make a cake for his boy's birthday.
"I will never forget how happy this young man was. He was stoked."
Foods including canned goods, raw ingredients such as flour, sugar, or daily items such as tea, coffee, pasta and soup were always welcome, along with anything else people were willing to give.
People were also encouraged to donate special Christmas food items to go in the parcels to help make Christmas special for families, to uplift them and help them to create a memorable occasion.
The food donated through the appeal goes towards creating Christmas hampers for those in need. Any money donated will be used to buy more food.
Any gifts donated will be given to families for their children.
It was asked that gifts be brought in unwrapped, so that parents could be provided with wrapping paper to get the special feeling of wrapping them up themselves.
Last year's appeal saw the total value of donations come in at $64,984.90. The donations helped more than 300 families at Christmas and ensured the Salvation Army could help more families year-round.