During last year's packing days a couple of volunteers pose with some of the gifts going to needy families in Winkler

It's Winkler And District Christmas Cheerboard Month. Over the coming weeks city residents are being encouraged to drop a tin in the bin or make a monetary donation to the organization as it gears up for its annual hamper packing days in December.

"Winkler and District Cheerboard wants to make a difference in the lives of community members who need a boost at Christmas time," says spokesperson Marilyn Dyck. "Our Winkler area is known to be generous and caring of those who need extra support, especially at this time of the year."

Area residents are asked to donate non-perishable food items, or make a monetary donation. Food items can be dropped off at a number of locations including City Hall, the Winkler Arena, Ten Thousand Villages, Fabutan, and Gateway Resources. Cheques can be mailed to:

Winkler and District Cheerboard
Box 1225
Winkler, MB
R6W 4B2

Last year the organization delivered 291 hampers which touched the lives of more than one thousand individuals. "Now we are not exactly sure of our number this year, we have to wait until all the application forms come in," says Dyck. "We are preparing for higher numbers if needed."

If you know of someone or a family which may need extra help this Christmas, hamper application forms are available at City Hall with the submission deadline November 30th.

A number of special events are coming up where you will have the opportunity to make a donation. Those include the annual Teddy Bear Toss hosted by the Winkler Flyers and The Eagle 93.5 FM and Country 1570 CKMW Tuesday, November 27th when the Orange and Black host the Selkirk Steelers.

"Hockey fans can buy a teddy bear for $5 which will then be used as a gift that a child receives in the hampers this year," says Dyck. "The Flyers have also generously donated their portion of the proceeds from the evening's 50/50 draw to the Cheerboard."

Hamper packing days will take place December 10th to 12th at the Winkler Mennonite Brethren Church in the gym. Volunteer packers need to be in place by November 30th as well, and people wishing to volunteer can leave a message on the Cheerboard phone line at 204-362-1805 and someone will return their call. Also, volunteer drivers to make hamper deliveries will be needed between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. December 12th.