Delivery vehicles took to the streets yesterday to drop off nearly 400 Christmas hampers in and around the Winkler area. Wednesday was delivery day for the Winkler and District Christmas Cheerboard.

397 hampers were delivered. Cheerboard President, Crystal Rempel says that's down from 424 hampers last year. Rempel noted the Cheerboard completely revamped its application process this year and moved the applications online.
The move was intended to ensure the hampers were getting to the right people, and Rempel said they anticipated the change would likely reflect in lower numbers this year.

"We knew we were going to learn a lot this year, and then go from there," said Rempel. "We had certain income brackets, and according to how many children, and such that we went with. We worked with Central Station and some things that they use. We tried to get a lot of advice in that area of what would be a fair, reasonable way to approach it."

As of delivery day on Wednesday, December 5th, the Cheerboard had raised over $65,000 towards its $130,000, with the fundraising meter to be updated on Friday.

"From in the past, we're pretty much on target (budget) from where we've been, and so we kind of go towards that instead of freaking out on the day exactly where our number says," noted Rempel. "Because we realize we are quite early in the Christmas season, and the cheques keep on coming in till it seems mid-January. And so we just have to be patient, and have faith, and continue our work here." 

Rempel says they had 25 people who helped deliver, and on Thursday morning, their WhatsApp chat group for volunteers was still buzzing. On Thursday morning, she said one of the drivers took it upon himself to make sure he got in touch with one of the people he couldn't reach from his list for delivery yesterday.

"So yeah, that's just cool to see the dedication in our community and the help that they want to give us, and the importance they see in it as well." 

Each hamper included a Co-op gift card, a bag of potatoes from The Potato Store, and a bag of peanuts from Sunny Day Products," noted Rempel. Children from 12 to 18 received a gift card as a gift, while the younger children received a wrapped gift. Rempel said they were able to purchase the gifts at cost from Canadian Tire and Janzen's Hobbyland, while SuperStore also provided a lot of the gift cards.

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