Elmwood residents Jennifer and Jeremy Winton are hoping to make it easier for low-income families to provide basic necessities to their children.
The couple have been working on Big Hearts for Tiny Feet for the last five months, and are looking to expand their operation.
The aim of the non-profit organization is to supply needy Winnipeg families with baby items and clothing for children.
It’s a cause near and dear to both of their hearts. Jennifer grew up in a low income household that often relied on food banks.
One of her most vivid memories of the food banks was mothers who needed items for their babies or small children and were often turned away.
Jennifer, who is now a mother herself, said she couldn’t imagine at the time how heartbroken the mothers must have been. It was those recollections that prompted her to do something about the problem.
"Once I had my son I realized the importance of giving him everything that I could," she said.
"As a mother I couldn’t imagine not being able to give my child the necessities."
Jennifer said it was her knowledge of what it’s like to grow up in a low-income household that convinced her something like Big Hearts for Tiny Feet was needed.
"It affected me personally because we were one of those families. I lived it and a lot of my friends did as well," she said.
"It wasn’t necessarily in a negative way, but it teaches you a lot."
Jeremy said supporting his wife throughout the process of starting Big Hearts was an easy decision.
"She’s my wife and I support her in whatever she does," he said. "It’s a great cause and a lot of people will benefit."
The goal is to help as many people as possible, Jeremy added.
"Just try to help as many families as we can. We’re not looking for any financial gain, we just want to help people," he said.
Jennifer said there is a serious need in the city for this type of service and she hopes they can fill the void.
"If no one donates then everyone will suffer. I think there’s a satisfaction of helping people out," she said.
"Children are the future."
Big Hearts is accepting donations of baby and children’s clothing, formula, diapers, and hygiene items. Toys will eventually be accepted as well.
Big Hearts currently operates out of the family’s home, but they hope to secure a permanent location for the charity elsewhere in the near future.
The couple will host a fundraising social for Big Hearts on Fri., May 25 at Movado Sports Bar and Grill located at 305 Madison St. in St. James.
Anyone interested in purchasing tickets or donating an item can contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or find them on Facebook.