Photo by J & J Media Photography

Christmas is just around the corner, so is the spirit of giving and caring that come with it.

Some Filipino groups have already started their Christmas drive to bring joy to underprivileged families through luncheon and gift-giving.

The Royal Goldies Family zumba group has started their donation drive to sponsor a few out of the 16,000 Christmas hampers that the Christmas Cheer Board is delivering to families in need this season.

Filipino organizations work together to bring cheer to Winnipeggers in need this Christmas

Every year especially during this season, there are a lot of Winnipeggers who are in need – in need not only of the basic things but also of the joy and cheer that this season brings.

In the Filipino community, four organizations have joined forces to fill that need and bring the less fortunate families the true spirit of Christmas.

The Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba (PCCM) and the Royal Goldies Family have been busy campaigning for donations in coordination with the Christmas Cheer Board; while the Filipino Seniors Group of Manitoba and the Retro Diva have been appealing for more donations for the Christmas luncheon and gift-giving for low-income seniors, newcomers and those who simply deserve joy and love this season as Christmas is for everybody.

Aida Champagne, the chairperson, said: “Our aim is to share joy and cheer and the true meaning of Christmas as we share with seniors, newcomers, and others who need to feel the true meaning of Christmas.”

Gloria Manlapaz, a realtor, a single mother, and the chairperson of the Christmas hamper committee of the Royal Goldies Family-Zumba Group is giving back to the community the blessings that she has received since her family came to Winnipeg many years ago.

“Being a single mother of two who immigrated to Canada 22 years ago, we were the recipients of the Christmas Cheer Board. We were so happy, especially my children who thought that Santa Claus gave it to us,” Manlapaz said.

Gloria remembers their first Christmas eve dinner in Winnipeg.

“We had an unforgettable Noche Buena, with roast turkey on the table,” Manlapaz reminisces with a smile. “This made me realize that simple things can make a memorable impact on the less fortunate family, so it is my turn to pay it forward,” she added.

Royal Goldies Family-Zumba instructor, Daisy Santiano Villegas, said: “We have so many blessings in life and we have to share these with less fortunate families, the true spirit of Christmas.”

Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba led by its president, Virgie Gayot, and Board member, Dante Aviso, are still asking for donations for their pledge with the Christmas Cheer Board.

“We want to be a part of reaching out to the families in need, and helping them celebrate the joyous season of Christmas, “ Gayot said with a smile.

For donations, you can contact:
Aida Champagne, Jun Isla, Angelica Ilagan and Lilibeth Atienza at (204)960-8530 ; Gloria Manlapaz at (204)918-2139; and Virgie Gayot: at (204)960-6887