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Hunter opens its heart for Salvos Christmas Toy Drive Appeal

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The Hunter community went above and beyond, with more than 3,500 gifts generously donated to The Salvation Army and NGM Group’s Christmas Toy Drive Appeal.

And, it appears 2023 was also a big year for Barbie.

The popular fashionista featured in thousands of contributions, along with miniature cars and interactive presents for babies and toddlers, as well as vouchers, sporting equipment and books for older kids and teenagers.

Now in its 35th year, the Christmas Toy Drive Appeal heralded a new chapter with Greater Bank joining the Newcastle Permanent as a collection point following the merger of the two institutions under the NGM Group banner.

Salvation Army public relations and community engagement manager Rod Dibley said the Salvos were thankful for the support.

“It’s always heartwarming to see not just the number of gifts that have been donated, but that people also put thought into what it is they are selecting,” he explained.

“With cost-of-living on the rise, it’s tough out there for a lot of people.

“So, to see so many still open their hearts and make that donation is truly appreciated.

“This year we’ve had more people reach out to the Salvos for assistance than we have previously seen.

“These gifts will ensure that thousands of kids do not miss out on Christmas Day.”

Newcastle Permanent partnerships and community engagement manager Kirsten Lyndon said Greater Bank was a welcome addition in 2023.

“The need in the region was even higher this year,” she stated.

“So, we were thrilled for them to contribute to such wonderful donation numbers.

“We’re always so proud to be able support the Salvos, but we couldn’t do it without the generosity of the community.

“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who contributed to putting smiles on so many young faces this Christmas.”

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