Our History

Since 1919 The Christmas Cheer Board has been helping families across Winnipeg by providing much-needed toy and food hampers during the holiday season. The Cheer Board is a registered Canadian charity #106921208RR0001.

Hamper recipients come from all areas of Winnipeg and reflect diverse social and economic backgrounds. The Cheer Board is non-denominational and accessible to all Winnipeggers in need. We work with many social agencies across the city to distribute hampers where they are needed most.

Each year recipients contact us by phone to register for a hamper. This information is then used to build hampers and prepare them for pickup and delivery across the city. Gifts are included for all children from infant to 12 years, and gift cards are provided to teens aged 13-17.

Without the incredible support from Winnipeggers, the Cheer Board could not meet the needs of Winnipeg families over the holiday season. Across the community, families, individuals, community groups, and businesses raise funds, donate food, toys, money, and time. Many others sposor individual families through our Feed-a-Family Program.

Volunteers take hamper applications, wrap toys, sort food and pack hampers. School students and businesses assemble and pack hampers, which are then picked up by recipients or delivered by volunteers.

Special events such as the Winnipeg Jets’ toy drive, the Manitoba Moose Teddy Bear Toss and the St. Vital Christmas Miracle help raise much needed funds.

More than half of the food and toys distributed are donated by individuals and companies, with the rest purchased with donated funds. The generosity of donors and volunteers is greatly appreciated.

The Loss of Our Champion

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It is with deep regret that we announce that the Winnipeg Christmas Cheer Board’s great champion Kai Madsen has passed away.

Madsen, 80, died on Tuesday, October 5 after some months of failing health. He had stepped down as executive director of the Cheer Board earlier in the year, replaced by Shawna Bell. 

“My earliest memories of the Cheer Board were of Kai and the overwhelming warmth and kindness that he brought to the holidays every year. It is a sad day for Winnipeg. Kai will be missed by so many across the city,” said Bell. 

Madsen’s tenure with the CCB goes back more than 50 years. He worked with the board as a volunteer and then became its executive director, a post he held for more than 25 Christmas seasons. 

Kai’s presence with the Cheer Board was much more than that of an executive. His face had nearly become that of Christmas itself in Winnipeg, many media outlets echoed that thought. Just ask Winnipeggers who received holiday hampers, they would agree.

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