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Jets Toy Drive a big help for Christmas Cheer Board

by Jason Friesen @NHLJets /

The Christmas season is a time of giving for many. It's no different for True North Sports + Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets as they continue their tradition of giving through the Winnipeg Jets Toy Drive this year.

The Toy Drive, which is presented by Wawanesa Insurance, will accept donations at Jets home games on Dec. 1, Dec. 3, Dec. 11, and Dec. 14, as well as at the Canadian National Women's Hockey Team vs. Team USA game on Dec. 5 at Bell MTS Place, Jets Gear stores, and select Wawanesa Insurance broker partners.

Once collected, the toy donations are sent to the Christmas Cheer Board, where they put the toys into hampers that are distributed to families receiving Employment Income assistance and many of the working poor.

For Christmas Cheer Board executive director Kai Madsen, the Toy Drive is an event the charity could not do without.
"Without the Toy Drive, we'd have a tough time making sure that everybody gets a toy," Madsen said.

Madsen noted that the Cheer Board was able to provide Christmas dinner to 50,000 people in Winnipeg last year. But he highlighted the fact that half of those people are kids, which means a lot of toys are needed for the hampers.

Though Madsen gets many thank you notes from those who receive hampers, he was sure to pass on the thank you to True North, and their tradition of giving to the Cheer Board.

"The Jets and the Moose provide some really neat ways for giving in the community," Madsen said. "And on top of that, the volunteers and the wives of the players are a lot of fun, and make the whole event a wonderful evening for everybody involved."

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