There’s a Christmas tree in the atrium of the Free Press building on Mountain Avenue that’s looking a little unloved right now.
While the tree is decorated, there aren’t any presents beneath it — a reminder to everyone here about what Christmas is like for far too many families in our city.
And with that reminder, we are launching this year’s fundraising drive to create another miracle in aid of the Christmas Cheer Board.
Last year, our generous readers came through by donating more than $107,000 so the Christmas Cheer Board could deliver on the demands for its hampers to families throughout Winnipeg. As part of a pilot project with a few local schools, we were also able to help fill those hampers with donated toys that found their way to the floor beneath our tree.
To mark the start of our fourth annual Miracle on Mountain, we are going to expand that pilot project by inviting all schools to bring donations of unwrapped toys to a temporary resting spot beneath our tree. From there, we will ensure the elves from the Christmas Cheer Board get them into the proper hampers. But before those elves arrive, we will make sure we give coverage to each and every school whose students join with us in our seasonal climb up the mountain to deliver another miracle.
"Giving and sharing are very much part of what the youth of Manitoba are learning in the classroom," Free Press Editor Paul Samyn said. "We want to ensure the charitable lessons that students put into practice are recognized, so that more students will be encouraged to share the gift of Christmas. I fully expect a mountain of toys will soon be beneath the Free Press tree that can be then delivered to the Cheer Board."
As part of this new giving component of Miracle on Mountain, we are asking schools to contact us to arrange a time for their students to show up with their donations of unwrapped toys. By contacting us at MiracleOnMountain@winnipegfreepress.com, we can ensure our journalists are ready to record the students’ generosity for all our readers.
At the same time, we are again urging our readers to support this campaign by way of donations. Please make cheques out to the Miracle on Mountain. The mailing address for cheques is new this year, so please ensure they are sent to Miracle on Mountain, c/o 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Man., R2X 3B6.
To donate online, please go to christmascheerboard.ca.
"The Christmas Cheer Board has been making miracles happen since 1919. For us here at the Free Press on Mountain Avenue, we are proud of the coverage we have given to this worthy cause, and constantly in awe of how our readers always respond by donations of money and toys," Samyn said.