In a pleasant twist of events, a Woody Harrelson movie filming in Winnipeg needing help from Volleyball Manitoba ended up helping a sports organization feed children in need.
A movie filming in Winnipeg called Champions is based on a 2018 Spanish film, following a man coaching a group of people with intellectual disabilities. The sports film was looking to rent volleyballs and looked to Volleyball Manitoba for help.
"They indicate that they would be willing to pay a fee to use the equipment and I said I don't know if that is necessary. And the individual indicated it is something that they normally do and they have a budget for," Executive Director John Blacher says.
Agreeing, Blacher says they decided to donate it to a local organization. They decided on Winnipeg Newcomer Sport Academy (WNSA), a newer grassroots sports organization in Winnipeg helping children learn about Canadian sports.
"They do not have a lot of funds for other means, and one of the areas that they had indicated at one point in conversations with them that what they really could use is assistance with snacks."
Morgan Reitberger, WNSA's program coordinator, says they were approached by Volleyball Manitoba with a donation. When she learnt where the money came from, she was starstruck.
"I was like oh my gosh! Woody Harrelson is giving us a donation!' So it was really exciting and it is just great that we can put that money towards something that will benefit the kids," Reitberger says.
WRNA busses roughly 30 children each week to learn about different sports, including how to skate, often having speakers from places like Volleyball Manitoba and Batton Manitoba. She says the $400 donation from Volleyball Manitoba will be used to give children snacks at their meetups for the next eight weeks.
"Our program is doing everything we can to break down barriers for newcomers. So we are providing transportation, it's no cost, we are providing snacks because we don't know the family's situations and maybe they are dealing with food insecurity. So we are really doing everything we can."
Reitberger says they would gladly offer Harrelson a snack if he stopped by.