At 9 a.m. on Mar. 11, a group of 20 students from Miles Macdonell Collegiate met to plan the Miles Mac Bazaar. The Bazaar aims to provide the less fortunate in Winnipeg’s West End and North End areas with hygiene products, clothing, toys, books, a full meal, musical entertainment and other engaging activities suitable for youth, children and adults alike.
Last year, the main project of Miles Mac’s Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) Committee was to organize a barbecue at West Broadway Ministries. This event fed more than 250 homeless and hungry in our city, giving them a very special meal that we take for granted so often.
Seeing what a difference we as youth can make, inspired us to embark on a more ambitious project this year – a Street Shop providing the less fortunate with basic necessities and entertainment for free.
Additionally, the YiP committee goes on site visits each year to organizations that help Winnipeggers in need. These visits clarify the needs of our communities and help us focus on areas that need the most effort – one of these is reconciliation.
We recognize that charity can be used to emphasize our differences or it can be used for reconciliation, for finding common ground, for having fun together. This is why we aimed not only to give away products in a one-sided exchange or giveaway, but also to create within this “bazaar” a safe place for interaction, entertainment, and enjoyment of the things that bring us closer together.
There will be plenty of activities for children, including bag decorating, balloon animal making and face painting. Miles Mac student – Sam Nadurak’s band will be providing musical entertainment while people enjoy a meal in Ma Mawi’s beautiful facility at 445 King St.
This project, taking place on Apr. 22, is less than a month away and as we enter this hectic crunch time, it is all the more important to keep in mind the essence of our project’s purpose. We do not want to simply give out hygiene products and food and clothing – though this is crucial – we also aim to use this sharing of our blessings to form connections with people we would not otherwise meet or know. This is our way of giving back to our community and to our city this year.
We are grateful to the Winnipeg Foundation for creating the Youth in Philanthropy program that has thought of this project and is executing it fully. Without the support and inspiration of the Foundation and the YiP initiative, we could barely go beyond just thinking about what we could do to make Winnipeg a better place. YiP is a place of growth for the youth involved as we learn to take more responsibility in caring for our city, and this is why I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of it.
We would also like to thank everyone who has donated towards this project, including The Winnipeg Foundation, United Way, Costco Wholesale, Sobeys, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Inc., Subway, Safeway, Superstore and Save on Foods. If you would like to donate products or money towards this project, please do not hesitate to contact me, Marianna Pozdirca (co-chair of Miles Macdonell Collegiate’s Youth in Philanthropy Committee) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out more Youth in Philanthropy stories on CNC at Young Winnipeggers Connect 2017.