Artists from across Manitoba are giving volunteers at Winnipeg Harvest a little extra spark and light this holiday season.
On Fri., Dec. 21, Prairie Stained Glass gifted Manitoba’s largest food bank 40 handmade candle holders to distribute to its volunteers.
"(Volunteers) are often the people who are coming in to use the food bank and to help make the whole thing work," said Brian McMillan, one of the business partners of Prairie Stained Glass, located in the West End.
"It’s nice to recognize the extra component of people willing to put in the extra time and support (Winnipeg Harvest) with their labour."
The gifts were made by 18 artists across the city and Manitoba, and even northwestern Ontario, as part of Prairie’s Art is Food for the Soul program, now in its second year.
Along with the candle holders, the business collected food donations and held an art show to raise cash for Harvest.
However, McMillan, who lives in St. James, sees the donations going beyond the usual push to raise funds and food for the needy across the city.
"The human soul is fed by beauty and if we can surround ourselves with beauty, it can enhance our everyday lives," he said of the candle holders. "It’s a little extra spark of joy and encouragement to be thankful for what they’ve got and be hopeful for the future."
Many of the artists were excited about the project, said staff member Heather Harris.
"They enjoy doing it," said Harris. "It makes them feel good that they can contribute."
Last year, volunteers put in more than 347,000 hours, equivalent to 174 full-time job positions, according to Shelley Malo, director of training and volunteer services at Winnipeg Harvest.
"The people who volunteer give us their time and their skills are essential in enabling Winnipeg Harvest to provide food to hungry people," Malo said.
"We are grateful that the support from Prairie Stained Glass helps us show our volunteers a small token of appreciation for the work they do."
Prairie Stained Glass first opened in 1978 on Sargent Avenue across from Mordens’ of Winnipeg. It moved to its current location at 587 Sargent at Sherbrook Street in 1988.
For more, visit www.prairiestainedglass.mb.ca, or call 204-783-1117.