Christmas hamper recipient pays it forward

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Jayme Lee Brandoline and Amanda Engen, from left, hold a tub of outdoor gear a group of friends and family helped them dispense to those in need on Tuesday. 

Benefitting from the community’s generosity, Amanda Engen was given a merry Christmas -- a feeling she passed on to others this Christmas season.

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“I have a low income family and I applied for a Christmas hamper through the Salvation Army, and I was adopted by a family, and so I just felt grateful and a need to pay it forward somehow,” she explained.

Handing out food scarves, toques, winter jackets and other pieces of clothing to the city’s less fortunate on Christmas Eve, the single mother of three children joined a handful of friends in spreading the same Christmas cheer she’d experienced.

 “I just thought I’d get a donation and plan a meal for a homeless person, and within a day we had everything we needed. The meal consisted of cranberry sauce, a turkey, stuffing and baking.

“Then we took it one step further and got donations for care packs, and than people also donated blankets and mitts and toques and scarves and everything.”

A friend in Martensville joined the effort by taking up a collection, and a friend in Winnipeg, Jayme Lee Brandoline, set up a Facebook page that took in donations -- an effort Engen said ended up paying off big-time.

Amanda Engen

“I know there are places that offer homeless people Christmas dinners on Christmas day, but we thought that we would actually go out and look for people who are homeless and on the street and could use a meal and a little care pack, and a Christmas card and extra winter gear to help them through the winter.”

The group of eight started their trip through Prince Albert on Christmas Eve behind a retail outlet in the Cornerstone Shopping District -- the same place where James Benjamin Roberts, 49, was found frozen to death on Dec. 4, 2012.

Some members of the group noted that the location was not a coincidence, and that they selected it to make a point -- that there are things people can do to prevent such tragedies.

Organizations: Salvation Army

Geographic location: Winnipeg, Cornerstone Shopping District

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  • violet aubichon
    February 13, 2014 - 13:43

    I was given this website by a friend because i have a friend thats struggleing and i thought this website helped out through out the year