July 12, 2020

Winnipeg
23° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Close this

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Cheer still needed after Christmas

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/12/2019 (197 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

CHRISTMAS may be over, but there’s still work to be done at the Christmas Cheer Board.

That includes handing out the last of the approximately 17,000 hampers the charitable organization will distribute this year. Volunteers delivered most of the hampers by the end of the day on Dec. 19, but if people weren’t home, they could pick their hampers up earlier this week.

Around 30 volunteers were at the Cheer Board’s St. James Street headquarters until noon on Christmas Eve, helping folks get their hampers.

"It’s been very, very hectic," executive director Kai Madsen said when asked what the days leading up to Christmas were like at the Cheer Board. "We’ve got people in here right now picking up their hampers. We try to deliver them twice, then once that’s happened, they have to come pick them up."

The Cheer Board was closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and reopened Friday and today for final hamper pickups.

"If there was anybody there who wasn’t able to come down (before Dec. 25), we don’t want them to go without," Madsen said. "It’s not quite as nice as having it for Christmas, but it’s better than not having it at all."

The Cheer Board is still welcoming donations, Madsen added.

"We don’t close the books until the end of February," he said. "We still need money. We still don’t have enough money to pay the bills yet… We’re hopeful that we’ll come very close (to reaching our goal), but we don’t have it yet."

In addition to sending in donations, there are other things that people can do for the Cheer Board year-round. Anyone interested in these volunteer opportunities can call 204-669-5369 for details.

The Cheer Board, which marked its 100th anniversary this year, will also be back up and running in full force in the final quarter of 2020.

Volunteering for the Cheer Board is worthwhile, said Shawn Remillard, who spent an evening in mid-December delivering hampers with his father-in-law and a friend. The trio showed up at the Cheer Board in Santa hats and loaded five hampers into their vehicle.

The fact that the Cheer Board helps children have a better Christmas compelled Remillard to volunteer.

"I have a two-year-old now, and Christmas is about the kids," he said, adding that he has a family member who has been a hamper recipient. "I’m just glad I can give back."

Kent Mulholland expressed similar sentiments after delivering hampers with his sister and niece.

"We’re in a pretty fortunate position ourselves," Mulholland said. "There are plenty of people who aren’t in that position, through no fault of their own. It’s an opportunity to give back.

"The gratitude, the appreciation, it’s just fun to be a part of," he added.

For Madsen, it’s the volunteers that stick out when he looks back on the last few weeks.

"They work long hours," he said. "They’re very talented and very organized, and that’s the key to success here. We have to be organized and understanding and empathetic. That’s what we’re doing and it’s working in spades."

aaron.epp@gmail.com

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press will close this commenting platform at noon on July 14.

We want to thank those who have shared their views over the years as part of this reader engagement initiative.

In the coming weeks, the Free Press will announce new opportunities for readers to share their thoughts and to engage with our staff and each other.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us