Though it’s only November, the Morden Christmas Cheer Board has already been preparing for the holiday season for several months.
“It’s something that is needed for the community,” chairperson Lesley Andrew said. “I’m sorry to say that there is a need for it, but we’ve come together. It’s a well-oiled group of people that volunteer their time.”
Public relations person Megan Andrew said it’s always good to see the Cheer Board excited to get going every year. “We get started in September with our planning,” she said. “Everybody’s really enthusiastic about it.”
Last year the Cheer Board handed out 233 hampers, and Megan said they are anticipating putting together a few more this year.
“It’s been a few more each year,” she said. “If we’re planning for 238 this year, we always still plan to have two extras during the packing after applications have closed.”
The Cheer Board will be packing hampers and wrapping toys at Morden Mennonite Church on Dec. 16-18, with hampers being delivered on the 19th. Each hamper has the basics, and then the Cheer Board tries to gear each hamper to its recipient.
“We tailor it towards families with children,” Megan said. “We look at age groups so we can have toys for each age group, whether they’re male or female. We make two-person hampers, five-person hampers, twelve-person hampers.”
Megan said the board will project how many volunteers they need on each day, and the community always answers the call. “We’re always packed to the gills with volunteers,” she said. “We hate to turn people away and that has been a consistent thing each year. There’s so many people willing to help out.”
At the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre’s Christmas at the Museum on Nov. 24, a fundraiser for the Winkler/Morden chapter of Habitat for Humanity, there will be a tree up with tags that people can take, that will have a specific age group of toy the Cheer Board is looking for.
The Cheer Board will be accepting donations at Morden’s Christmas tree lighting on Nov. 16. Bring a toy to receive a free picture with Santa. On Dec. 3 the Morden Thunder hockey team will be holding a home game and collecting dry goods, and the team will be donating their time to help load and unload delivery trucks.
Megan said it’s always good to see the support the Cheer Board receives from the community. “We were printing some posters and they were going to charge, and they [said], ‘Oh, I didn’t realize it was Christmas Cheer, let me help you out.’ Everybody gets really excited about it because they know it goes towards the local community, not some obscure foundation. It’s really nice to see everybody’s response.”
“Everything is volunteer,” Lesley added. “The board is volunteer, all the drivers are volunteer, everyone that comes to help us pack these boxes are volunteers. They come together for a good cause.”
For more information visit www.mordenchristmascheer.com or follow Morden Christmas Cheer on Facebook for updates.