Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
January 14, 2016

Christmas in the Bag 2015!

xmas pic

Most of us get excited and look forward to spending time with our family over the holiday season but Christmas can be anything but happy for the less fortunate in our cities.  As the economy continues to slump, many people have lost their jobs and have turned to the food banks for assistance while others have had to move into shelters.   It is heartbreaking to hear the stories of mom’s or dad’s going without food so their children can be fed, or of the women and children sleeping in their cars or shelters due to a terrible domestic situation!  I am so excited to be able to share how the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) Manitoba Women’s Committee was able to bring a little bit of joy and happiness to some of the struggling members of our community.

Each year since 2006, the CEIU Manitoba Women’s Committee has spearheaded a campaign called “Christmas in the Bag” and this year was no exception!  At the beginning of November, committee members and other volunteers purchased Christmas themed bags and distributed them to the CEIU offices throughout Manitoba.  CEIU members who work at the local offices were able to purchase these bags for $2.00 each and fill them with goodies which would then be sent to several shelters just before Christmas!  Some of this year’s bag of goodies included: toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soaps, hand lotions, gift cards for coffee shops, bus tickets, reading materials, games, mittens, scarfs, chocolate, candies, toys, pajamas, slippers, socks, undies…and the list just goes on and on!  The money which was collected from the members pays for the bags and then the balance of funds is shared between the Shelters to purchase additional necessities.

Karine (Chair of the Committee) advised this year’s deliveries included over 160 filled gift bags, a few boxes of miscellaneous goodies and $383 cash for several shelters in Manitoba.  Karine would like to say  “Thank You to everyone who made donations for the campaign as it would not be a success without your generosity; to the call centre staff who helped fill bags during their team meetings; to Daniel, Christine, Pat, Paula, Shon (and his daughter) who took time from their busy weekend to organize and fill the remainder of the bags, to Kelly for sending treats for the workers and a very special thanks to Amber  who went delivering bags with me during a snow storm!  Everyone’s contributions and assistance is greatly appreciated… so thanks again… and until next year!”

The response from the shelters in Winnipeg and across Manitoba brings tears to our eyes every year!  Each one of the shelters has expressed their sincere gratitude for thinking of the women, the children and the youth in their shelters at this difficult time of year.

On behalf of the CEIU Manitoba Women’s Committee, we would like to express our sincere thanks to all of you who participated in the worthwhile cause and thank you for the generous gifts.  Great job, everyone!

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