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Christmas Cheer Board Campaign Marking 100 Years in Community

November 28, 2019 3:28 PM | News

Kai Madsen - Christmas Cheer Board

Christmas Cheer Board executive director Kai Madsen speaks with ChrisD.ca during an interview in 2018. (FILE)

WINNIPEG — It’s a time of year when Kai Madsen and his volunteers are busy sorting food and filling hampers for nearly 50,000 people this holiday season.

The executive director of the Christmas Cheer Board doesn’t show any signs of slowing down as he marks 50 years at the Christmas charity.

Aside from Madsen’s own milestone anniversary, the Cheer Board is celebrating 100 years in the community.

“Winnipeggers are always there for us and we hope they will help again,” Madsen told ChrisD.ca on Thursday.

“Today we are distributing 53,000 grocery bag through the help of the Free Press. This project is sponsored by Sobeys, Safeway and IGA. People can fill the bag and drop them off at any of their stores.”

The St. James warehouse, home to the non-profit for the second season, was bustling earlier this week as students from Cecil Rhodes School stopped by to help pack hampers. Representatives from Sobeys, Safeway and IGA were also on hand to make a $20,000 donation to the Cheer Board.

Christmas Cheer Board Donation

Kai Madsen, executive director of the Christmas Cheer Board (far right), accepts a donation of $20,000 from Sobeys, Safeway and IGA on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. (HANDOUT)

Aside from food donations, cash is always welcomed to assist the Cheer Board in purchasing items to top up the hampers. Of those being delivered by volunteers, 20,000 will go to children. The non-profit also has to pay its bills for products that it commits to buy in bulk months before the holiday season crosses anyone’s mind.

“Our volunteers are up to the task of sorting and getting all these things into the hampers along with the gifts and, of course, the turkey,” Madsen added.

On Tuesday, December 3, high school students will be in the grocery stores encouraging shoppers to “fill the bag, fill the need.” Food hamper bags are available for either $5 or $10, containing the Cheer Board’s most needed food items.

Those wanting to make a donation or sponsor a hamper can do so online, or in-person at a number of locations across Winnipeg, including the Cheer Board’s office at 947 St. James Street.

ARCHIVE VIDEO: Christmas Cheer Board warehouse, November 29, 2018