Project aims to help those struggling over festive season

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A Christmas idea with a twist will assist those who are struggling in the community in the new year.

Sandy Smith, of Gore, has set up a Reverse Advent Calendar project which will result in the collecting of non-perishable goods for the Salvation Army Gore Corps.

The project was a way for families to give to those in need in the community, Mrs Smith said.

Each day of December one non-perishable item from each participating household’s pantry was added to a box or basket, she said.

A few days before Christmas the boxes would be collected and delivered to the Salvation Army.

Mrs Smith was a member of a group in Invercargill last year that did the same thing.

Since living in the Gore district Mrs Smith decided it would be good if the Gore Salvation Army benefited from the initiative.

She was planning to contribute herself, then thought if other people joined in it would result in more benefit for the community.

“It’s just something different,” she said.

The project provided an opportunity for children and teens to learn about the life struggles some people in communities faced.

“I’ve got a young family and I want them to understand not everybody has it easy for Christmas.”

Participating in the project taught children and teens gratitude, she said.

The items did not need to be expensive – they could include noodles or a roll of toilet paper.

Many families struggled financially during the festive season and the boxes could be used after Christmas to help families in the new year.

The project also fitted in with the spirit of giving at Christmas.

Eight people had already signed up for the project, Mrs Smith said.

Salvation Army Gore Corps community worker Kaye Byron greeted the idea with enthusiasm.

“It’s an awesome idea,” Ms Byron said.

The project would help the organisation prepare for the post-Christmas demand.

It was expected the donations would be given to families in January when food and money was in short supply and children were home during school holidays, she said.

To take part in the project, go to Gore Reverse Advent Calendar on Facebook.