200 families to receive Christmas hampers through Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata annual drive
'We know there are a lot of families in need at this time,' says Will Hudson
Turkeys, carrots, potatoes and a lot of holiday spirit were packed into boxes at R.B. Russell school Saturday, all set to be delivered to families in Winnipeg's North End.
Volunteers taking part in the 15th annual Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre's Christmas hamper drive packed the boxes Saturday morning, to be delivered to about 200 families with a delicious dinner and gifts for kids.
"It's a way for us to give back because we know there are a lot of families in need at this time," said Will Hudson, who works at the centre.
"[We] make sure that families are getting presents out to the children and also celebrating the Christmas festival with a good dinner."
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All of the families are connected with Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata through their services and programs, Hudson said, adding there is a waiting list for more people who have requested the hamper.
The holiday hampers make a big difference to the families, he said.
"We are going to bring smiles to a lot of people's faces today," he said.
Kristi Beaune braved the cold Saturday afternoon air as she packed her truck with boxes to deliver around the neighbourhood. It is her third year volunteering with the hamper drive.
"I do it because it's probably the best volunteer gig at this time of year to do — being Santa Claus to a lot of families who wouldn't necessarily get great food and good gifts," she said.
Dropping off the hampers, she said, she sees "lots of smiles, and when the kids come to the door it is super fantastic."
About 70 Bell MTS employees also came out to volunteer, including Paul Norris. He said it's important to come together as a community, especially during the holidays.
"The best part for me personally is feeling the joy when you deliver the hamper to that family. They are so appreciative and they are such great people."