WINNIPEG — Hampers filled with food and gifts began going out from the Christmas Cheer Board on Thursday, as families and individuals in need lined up at the St. James warehouse to collect their holiday goodies, including fresh turkeys.
About 18,000 hampers are being prepared this season, with deliveries set to begin on Saturday.
Also happening on Saturday is the annual Teddy Bear Toss at the Manitoba Moose game. During the second intermission, stuffed toys will be thrown on the ice to ensure kids receive a gift this Christmas. Fans who don’t bring their own bear can purchase one on the Bell MTS Place concourse for $5 on game night. All toys will be donated to the Cheer Board. Puck drop is at 2 p.m.
If attending the game isn’t in your weekend plans, you can sponsor a hamper and a list of required items to fill it, such as canned fish and meats, canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, soup, rice, dry pasta, canned spaghetti sauce, cereal, and any extras (cookies, chocolates, nuts and candy).
Cheer Board staff received 14,531 kilograms worth of turkeys on Wednesday and say they need cash donations to help pay for them. As the need arises, more turkeys will be purchased before Christmas.
The Christmas Cheer Board has been providing hampers filled with food and toys for Winnipeg’s less fortunate since 1919. Last year, 18,106 hampers were delivered to families, including gifts for 20,000 children.
The Cheer Board’s efforts are driven with the help of more than 3,000 volunteers annually.
WATCH: Executive director Kai Madsen on this year’s efforts: