Is it possible to hand out 10,000 presents in 16 days? That's what the Christmas Cheer Board is hoping to do.

Since 1919, the Christmas Cheer Board Winnipeg has been handing out holiday hampers to those in need. It started with the windows and orphans of soldiers who died in World War One, but quickly spread once the Cheer Board realized how many people were in need.

Today, the Cheer Board provides around 18,000 hampers to low-income and struggling families around the city. Hampers include things like food for a holiday feast and gifts for the children.

"It's food items oriented towards [Christmas], like turkey, the cranberry sauce, turkey stuffing, gravy," said Kai Madsem, the Executive Director at the Cheer Board. He has been a part of the group for the past 48 Christmas'. "[Plus] the turkey is ideal for more than just one meal."

Food items and gifts are donated to the Cheer Board throughout the months of November and December, and then they use monetary donations to purchase the remaining items needed.

"We buy the toys to fill and the groceries to make sure the hamper is complete," Madsem said.

Of the 18,000 hampers made this year, 10,000 need to be delivered. That process begins today for the Cheer Board, but they will need help.

"The struggle is always to make sure we deliver them on time, we don't have much flex time," Madsem said.

Madsem says the Cheer Board is looking for volunteers to pick up hampers at their location just north of Polo Park and deliver them to all corners of the city.

Madsem says that this program wouldn't exist without the help of dedicated volunteers and organizations that have partnered with them, like the Manitoba Moose. They are hosting their Teddy Bear Toss this Saturday and all stuffies will be donated to the Cheer Board.

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