Christmas Cheer programs are underway across Western Manitoba and that includes Melita and area.

This year is the 33rd year for the packing of hampers for area families.

Donna Bell chairs the local cheer board and says they send out close to 40 hampers each year. “We’re back on track and look forward to getting some donations and moving forward with referrals and getting hampers packed and delivered.”

The Christmas Cheer program aims to provide families with a Christmas meal and gifts. The Melita program services the communities of Napinka, Elva, Coulter, Lyleton, Pierson, Broomhill, Tilston and Melita.

Along with cash donations the group is also looking for non perishable food items, gifts for children 12 and under. There’s a push for cash donations due to the pandemic. Money can be dropped off in Melita at Sunrise Credit Union or RBC.

“Last year we handed out 39 hampers and expect much the same number this year” said Donna Bell.

“We don’t really need any volunteer help this year. During the pandemic our committee has been able to do it ourselves and we aren’t looking for any extra volunteers. We’ll be packing the hampers at the United Church again and that happens on December 16th with the hampers going out the following day.”