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Chief elf expects need to grow this year

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 2/12/2017 (904 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s probably not surprising Winnipeg’s chief elf is pleased the city has had a blanket of snow fall on it earlier than usual.

After all, when you’re Kai Madsen of the Christmas Cheer Board, snow isn’t something that just covers lawns, streets and sidewalks — it also begins sprinkling the Christmas spirit on Winnipeggers.

As Madsen knows best, when Winnipeggers get the Christmas spirit, that’s when they start in earnest sending donations of money, food and unwrapped new toys to the cheer board.

"I’ve always had a really good feeling about Winnipeggers," he said this week. "They never disappoint me."

That’s great because Madsen — with the help of Winnipeggers — has pretty big shoes, uh, hampers to fill.

Madsen said the cheer board filled 18,600 hampers with a turkey, fixings and a present last year. This year, they are expecting the need to be slightly higher.

"We’re now at 10,000 applications, which is about 400 more than last year at this time," he said.

Madsen said the coming days will be busy for the cheer board. They officially kick off their 2017 campaign Tuesday, the same day Free Press home-delivery customers will get a special paper bag stuffed in with their paper, which they can take to a local Sobeys, Safeway or IGA grocery store to fill with non-perishable food and drop it off in an in-store bin.

"We’re hoping we can collect lots," he said. "But we also need (money) donations. We buy more than half the stuff we provide."

That’s where the Free Press’ Miracle on Mountain campaign comes in.

You can send in a donation to the Free Press, with cheques payable to Miracle on Mountain or the cheer board. A classroom, school or individual can also bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Free Press offices at 1355 Mountain Ave., to put under the Christmas tree in our lobby.

Both ways of donating will make sure the families and Winnipeggers who may face a bleak Christmas celebration this year receive a hamper.

It might not be much to you, but to those who receive help, it may be the most generous gift they’ll receive. And isn’t that really what counts at this time of year?

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.

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Updated on Monday, December 4, 2017 at 3:18 PM CST: Corrects missing space in headline.

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