The Manitoba Metis Federation says their 20-year commitment to the Cheer Board demonstrates their shared value of "coming together as a community."
Hampers are being swapped for food vouchers this year due to health and safety concerns, but the MMF wants to make sure all children, despite their circumstances, can have a Christmas.
“By showing acts of kindness, we can make a difference. This is not about the Métis Nation; this is about all of us as proud Manitobans. Every child deserves to have a Christmas and we cannot let our children down during these challenging times," MMF president David Chartrand says.
Each year the Cheer Board helps between 15,000 to 17,000 families. The Cheer Board began as a way to show kindness to families who lost loved ones during the first World War. One hundred years later, they offer Christmas hampers and toys to families in need.
“The Christmas Cheer Board’s origins and present campaigns are very close to the heart of the Métis Nation – who value the importance of coming together as a community and opening the door for all, regardless of their walk of life. Many Winnipeggers struggle to make ends meet for various reasons during the Christmas season,”
Despite the Cheer Board's President not being a fan of vouchers over hampers due to the impersonal nature, he is grateful they can make Christmas dinner a reality for families.
“President Chartrand continues to be a beacon of hope for many; through the MMF many services are provided, such as social services, education, recreation, housing, health, and many more," President Kai Madson says. “On behalf of all the people we assist, the frontline volunteers and myself, the wish to all: stay safe, stay healthy, and have a Merry Christmas."
Chartrand says that Manitobans are characteristically generous and is asking people to continue to support other Manitobans.