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From a Distance: Providing Christmas Cheer for Youth in Need

HOPE worldwide Canada is calling on Winnipeggers to help make the holidays a little more special for young people living alone in care and without a strong support network.

Our Winnipeg Chapter has created a Christmas Wishlist for young people who have been identified by Winnipeg Child and Family Services as those really in need of some Christmas cheer, especially during this unprecedented time with the COVID-19 pandemic. One might say we could all use a little more Christmas cheer and HOPE.

The original plans for the Christmas Wishlist program had to be shifted in order to adhere to current Manitoba COVID-19 restrictions. So now, instead of purchasing physical gifts for the young people on our wish list, we are requesting donors to purchase and send electronic gift cards as presents. This will ensure that donors do not have to leave their homes to shop and volunteers do not need to drive around the city to make deliveries which could put them and the recipients at risk.

Heather Wonnick, Resource Supervisor for Winnipeg Child & Family Services stated “It is important that these young people know that they are cared about and are not alone. With the act of giving, it emphasizes a sense of community for them, which they would not normally have or may have but in a limited connection. Fulfilling the wish list also teaches these young people the concept of volunteering and the concept of generosity. Hopefully this may inspire them to do acts of kindness for others when they are able to.”

The Christmas Wishlist program involves 4 easy steps for donors:

  1. Visit the Christmas Wishlist site,

  2. Read about and pledge a young person

  3. Purchase an online gift card

  4. Email the gift card and personalized holiday greetings to

The Wishlist Administrator will confirm receipt of the electronic gift card to each donor and will email the presents and any accompanying holiday greetings out to the recipients before Christmas morning.

Our Winnipeg Chapter is excited to launch this new program and invites everyone to help make the holidays extra special for youth in need of extra Christmas Cheer!

Questions on the Christmas Wishlist program can be directed to Anna Petter, Winnipeg Chapter Director. Merry Christmas!


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