WINNIPEG -- With Christmas about two weeks away, the volunteers at the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board are in full swing packing and delivering hampers, but now the charity is asking for some holiday help.

More than 17,000 Christmas hampers are being packed up for families across Winnipeg this holiday season, but the Cheer Board said they need hundreds of drivers to help deliver them, as well as more sponsors for families.

Each year, the charity’s Feed a Family program gives Winnipeg families or businesses the chance to sponsor a family, put together a hamper for them and deliver it in person.

“We’re running about 200 behind what we were last year at this time,” said Kai Madsen, executive director of the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board. “It’s significant because whenever we have a Feed a Family sponsor – that means that we don’t have to go and buy the groceries, and they buy it and they do all of the work and they do all the delivery and wrapping.”

Madsen said it’s not too late to get involved and sign up to sponsor a family, noting there are also lots of hampers that need to be delivered.

Madsen said no appointment needs to be made, a person can just show up to the Christmas Cheer Board warehouse at 947 St. James St. and ask to deliver some hampers.

All that is required is a vehicle and a valid driver’s licence. It takes about an hour to deliver four to five hampers.

Madsen said the charity is also running short on money donations this year by about $100,000.

“Winnipeggers are awesome and they always come to our help when we need them,” Madsen said.


This year the Cheer Board is also celebrating its 100th anniversary.

The charity started in 1919 by a group of churches who wanted to give hampers and toys to the families of the soldiers who died during the First World War.

“When I joined many, many years ago, the idea that this organization would be around for 100 years never crossed my mind,” Madsen said. “That just says a lot about Winnipeg, because this organization belongs to them all. We’re not trying to build empires here – we’re just trying to do the right thing at the right time.”

Here are the hours the Christmas Cheer Board is open:

  • Monday, Dec. 9 to Friday, Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 14 to Sunday, Dec. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 16 to Friday, Dec. 20 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 21 to Sunday, Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Source: Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board)