Giving tree sprouts gifts

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 Christmas cheer . . . Balclutha Salvation Army mission director Kaye Bell and Clutha Licensing Trust general manager Mike Curtis with the gifts provided by Balclutha residents for the Round Table giving tree. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The spirit of giving is alive and well in Clutha this Christmas and the community has made a generous response to two Balclutha gift donation trees.

Clutha Licensing Trust general manager Mike Curtis has organised the giving tree through the Balclutha Round Table for the past six years.

He said this year had gone “Very well.”

“We had to get 60 gifts this year and we were very happy with the response.”

The giving tree was stationed in the foyer at the Westpac Bank and members of the public came and took a tag with a child’s age and gender to buy a gift for.

“Not all of them make it back, and we make up the difference. But most of them do. People have been very generous.

“That’s what the spirit of Christmas is all about .. we get to provide a little bit of Christmas to a child that otherwise might not receive it.”

Once collected, the gifts were taken to the Salvation Army to be allocated to the various children.

Another giving tree sprang up this year in town, down the road at H&J Smith.

“We are happy with the response, being that this is our first year,”H&J Smith store manager Sarah Cunningham said.

The H&J Smith tree ran through December until December 13, and staff hoped they could do a larger gift drive next year.

“We just want to let people know it will be here next time so they have time to prepare.”