Greendell Park Community Centre is hosting its annual Children's Shopping Spree event that allows children to find their creativity and independency while buying gifts for family.
The sale will begin on Sunday, December 4, with the community centre's gym split in half. One with all the items for children to shop, the other full of coffee and baked goods for sale for the waiting parents. There is also a present wrapping station so that the gifts stay a secret.
From 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., everyone is welcome to join in on the community Christmas event, and children of all ages can peruse the variety of items for sale.
Winnipeg moms, Amanda Godfrey and Lori Oxenforth are this year's event coordinators. Together they focus on collecting items, setting up, cleaning up and rallying volunteers.
All items at the shopping spree will range between $0.25 to $2.00, and all the money raised will go towards the Greendell Park Community Centre to continue all the programming that it offers.
"We basically take everything except for stuffed animals and clothing," says Godfrey. "We bring everything downstairs and our room is usually busting by now, I was just there about three days ago...we're really hurting for donations. A lot of times we lack stuff for dads, grandpas, uncles, that's always the harder stuff to find."
Godfrey says there was a man who asked if he could purchase items from the dollar store. She says it is completely acceptable to donate items found in and around the house or to purchase new items from the store. Monetary donations, which will be used to buy items for the sale, are also accepted.
Donations can be dropped off at Greendell Park Community Centre, a table is outside the building and staff or volunteers are on-site during operating hours. Pick-ups can also be arranged by emailing Godfrey (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Oxenforth (email@example.com).
If any items are dropped off that are not suitable for sale, they will be given to Diabetes Canada; or if it is broken, thrown away.
Offering children the chance to pick something they think their parents or other family members will like offers them the opportunity to feel proud of what they have done and encourages individuality.
Godfrey recalls a time when her son bought something from the community centre's shopping spree to give to her father.
"Somebody had donated, like, a fur mask. So, it was made of like animal skin and it was a mask that you wear. So, my youngest son had picked it out and I didn't wrap the gifts obviously because they were for us. My parents were in from Alberta, opening the gifts and he's like 'Grandpa. You have to open my gift.' He was so excited."
Godfrey's dad was a little less excited when his grandson insisted that he wear the fur mask.
"My dad was horrified."
An attempt was made by the grandfather to leave the mask behind, but Godfrey's son was quick to make sure he did not leave without it.
For more information about the Children's Shopping Spree visit the Greendell Park Community Centre website.
Shoppers are also being asked to bring reusable bags to carry any presents with.