Top Tuesdays Originally uploaded by AccessWinnipeg

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It doesn’t matter what you call it. This is the Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus season that everyone should have a chance to enjoy. This week we’re going to let you know how you can help others enjoy this festive season. After all, it’s better to give than receive. Click “read more” to read more. :)

Christmas Cheer Board

The Christmas Cheer Board was created almost 90 years ago by a number of Winnipeg churches who felt that there were too many going without what so many others took for granted.

Since then, the Cheer Board has continued to grow, each year supplying thousands upon thousands of hampers and toys to needy families in Winnipeg. Last year alone they distributed an incredible 18,662 hampers, and gifts to over 23,000 children.

There are several ways to donate to the Christmas Cheer Board. There are those who donate of themselves by signing up to prepare a hamper for an individual or family. They are given the name of a family, and a grocery list of items to include in the hamper, as well as ages of any children that will need a new toy to open on Christmas morning. This is probably the best way to feel good about helping others and if you have a kids, an even better way to show them the reason for the season. Another way is to just open your wallet and help out with what you can. If the last two are more than you can afford, feel free to volunteer. I helped out each year for the past couple just delivering hampers and rolling change.

To volunteer at the Christmas Cheer Board, call the volunteer coordinator at 989-5696. To sponsor a family call 989-5694, and for any other information please visit the CCB website at, call 989-5680 (effective Nov.1 – Dec.31), or the year-round phone line at 669-5369. If you wish to donate food or a new toy, information on drop-off locations can be found on the website.

Make a Wish Foundation

Make a Wish is the world’s largest wish-granting charity benefiting children with life-threatening medical conditions. While this isn’t technically for the Christmas Season, it does help out those children who wouldn’t have the greatest Christmas because they’re stuck in the hospital.

• Make a one-time gift.

• Donate to a specific fundraising campaign.

• Make a memorial gift to celebrate the memory of someone important to you.

They acknowledge all tribute and memorial gifts by sending a special card to the family or individual of your choice

• Volunteer with Make-A-Wish and you will be able to contribute your valuable time, talent, and expertise to bring unforgettable moments of joy to the lives of children living with life-threatening illnesses. Your assistance will not only provide the children with happiness and hope, it will also provide you with a heartwarming and rewarding experience.

Heart and Stroke Foundation

Heart and Stroke Foundation is one of my favourite to help out. My grandfather has suffered two strokes and he’s still kicking (next year is his 90th birthday). Just as with the above you can donate money but there’s a bit of a fun aspect to volunteering your time.

Like the cold? Smell of pine trees? Then you should sign up for this position. They are looking for several Christmas Tree Sales Associates to help out at the WalMart at Kenaston and McGillivray.

Duties will include assisting with sales of trees, answer questions, sit at the sale table and may have to do a bit of lifting to help customers with their trees as needed. You should be able to work with the general public, be outside for 2 hours (dress warmly!) and do some lifting.

Winnipeg Harvest

The Winnipeg Harvest is another year round charity that helps individuals and families in need. Come the holiday season, this need is even greater.

Food donations are gratefully accepted at their warehouse (1085 Winnipeg Ave near McPhillips St). They operate 10 trucks that are picking up and delivering food throughout the province, Monday through Saturday. Call them at 982-3676 to arrange for pickup of items which cannot be dropped off. You may also reach them via email at

The top 10 needed items are:

1. Canned Fish and poultry – Tuna, or Salmon (packed in water) Chicken or Turkey
2. Baby Food – jars of chicken, beef, vegetables or fruit, Formula with added iron
3. Canned Fruit and Vegetables (packed in own juice)
4. Canned Beans, Chili, or Stew
5. Peanut Butter
6. Whole Grain Pasta/Whole Wheat Pasta
7. Rice – Brown, converted or parboiled
8. Canned Spaghetti Sauce or Tomatoes
9. Cereal – High Fibre, non – sugar coated
10. Canned Soup – lentil, pea, vegetable

If you are an individual interested in sharing your time, please contact Gary to set up an orientation appointment. Please note that youth under the age of 16 require adult supervision. That’s all the more reason for this to be a family event. Call (204)982-3587 or email

You can also open your wallet for them. For every $1 they receive, they are able to pick up and deliver $20 worth of groceries. At Winnipeg Harvest, every loonie matters! Donate Online through

Hospitals and Old Folks Homes

While this is hardly the last way to donate your time this holiday season, it may very well be the most fulfilling. Now you can’t just walk in to a hospital and start playing games with the terminally ill kids or pushing a elderly person’s wheelchair around, however you can call ahead and talk to an administrator to find out how you can help.