Committed to caring for those less fortunate

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/05/2021 (642 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

What began a few years ago as an occasional trip to the Main Street strip as a peer support worker, then evolved to handing out sandwiches to hungry Winnipeggers has now become what long-time Windsor Park resident Tracey Wenham calls “the Angel Wings with Love project.”

Together with a core group of volunteers who venture out to various inner-city neighbourhoods and tent communities several times a week, Wenham and her crew hand out food, toiletries, blankets and clothes to those in need.

But perhaps the most important thing she offers is conversation and companionship:

Supplied photo Tracey Wenham shows off one of the sleeping mats she makes from old plastic grocery bags and deliver to those less fortunate as part of her Angel Wings With Love project.

“I’m there to be with the people,” she told me. “They are my focus.”

Wenham said this past year has been particularly difficult for Winnipeggers without safe and stable housing. The pandemic forced the closure of a number of resources relied upon by the community, including places to access free clothing and toiletries.

“I was told, ‘Tracey, we can’t get any clothes and toiletries. Nobody listens to us.’” Wenham said.

She immediately sought to remedy the situation and partnered with Audrey Gordon (Southdale MLA and provincial Minister of Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery) so that people could leave donations of gently used clothing, outerwear, and blankets at Gordon’s constituency office. Wenham regularly picks up the items and distributes them to other organizations or gives directly to those in need.

In addition to food, clothing and other essential items, Wenham also makes sleeping mats out of plastic grocery bags. According to Wenham, the mats are very popular with folks who do not have a comfortable places to sleep or who would otherwise have to sleep directly on hard concrete or ground. The mats are actually quite comfortable but they are very labour-intensive requiring approximately 500-700 bags and 40 to 50 hours each.

In addition to thanking the volunteers involved in this project, Wenham also wanted to give a special thank you to Tracey Nemeth for helping collect grocery bags, as well as the generous food donations provided by Arlene Mousseau and Angeleka Bisson (Sweet and Salty Box Company).

I asked Wenham about her motivation for starting this project and why it continues to be so important to her.

“It lifts my spirits,” she told me. “I can help someone and pay it forward.”

For more information on the Angel Wings with Love Project or to inquire about donating, Wenham can be reached at sarahsangel@live.ca.

Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at htiede@gmail.com

Heather Innis

Heather Innis
Windsor Park community correspondent

Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park.

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