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Mixed message: Salvation Army toy sorter Julz Mariu says it might look like a lot of toys but they'll disappear quickly and
the Sallies still need many more.
Photo: FIONA GOODALL
By TROELS SOMMERVILLE
Toy collection boxes have been
placed at all public libraries
across south Auckland.
They're also at the Salvation Army
offices in 16 Bakersfield Place in
Manukau and at the Papakura
Courier's reception at 33 Birm-
ingham Rd, East Tamaki.
Cheque donations can also be
posted to the Papakura Courier,
PO Box 76-400, Manukau.
All cheques should be made
payable to the Salvation Army.
Leaving that Christmas shopping
too late could mean some needy kids
will be missing out on presents this
Not only will shopping early save
many people s sanity but it ll also
help the Papakura Courier and Sal-
vation Army s Christmas toy
Toys are coming in, but slowly,
and not nearly enough to reach the
3000-4000 target the Salvation
Army is hoping for.
We re only as good as what
comes in the door, really, and we
haven t let anyone down yet,
operations assistant Julz Mariu
She s helped sort the toys for the
past two years and says she feels
like Father Christmas as she goes
through the gifts.
She and the other volunteer sor-
ters have impassioned discussions
about what ages should get the
Most of the presents disappear
within just a few days as the Sal-
vation Army also hands out toys to
about 30 other agencies.
From past experiences Ms Mariu
has found often the toys come thick
and fast later on in the appeal but
initially the Sallies have to rely on
stockpiled toys that arrived too late
in previous years.
Her boss Ross Richards agrees
that many people leave it too late to
help and that can be a bit worrying.
It looks like we have a lot here
but they ll go in a matter of days,
Mr Richards says. We asked the
libraries [where people donate toys]
to call when they have enough toys
to pick up but we haven t had any
phone calls yet which is a bit scary.
Ms Mariu says it s not because
people don t give. Even some strug-
gling families still give presents for
those worse off than themselves.
We have families on the benefit
that still come down every year and
bring gifts to give to the Christmas
appeal and I think they re amazing.
Now it might be from the two
dollar shop and they ve bought a
bag of $20 worth of $2 goods, but,
well, they go a long way here.
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