WINNIPEG — Two sisters are hoping to create positive change in Winnipeg by passing on a tradition their father started a decade ago.
Kay Lizon and Jessica Boittiaux grew up in the city’s north end with their family throwing annual block parties in the back yard, giving back to the community.
“It just kept growing… and our dad passed away in 1995 which led us to think what happened to all those people that would come,” Jessica Boittiaux said. “People would come by the thousands.”
In 2011, the sisters decided to hand out gloves to people who needed them as a way to carry forward their dad’s tradition of giving back.
“Initially we were just going to start by going on to buses looking for anybody that didn’t have gloves or scarves,” Boittiaux said.
Those few pairs of gloves turned into 800 gifts with people giving them presents to share with community members in need.
“We decided to pick a neighborhood, we tend to focus on the lower income neighbourhoods because we feel like they can benefit the most but we will give to anyone that we run into that day,” Kay Lizon said.
The sisters knock on doors in the designated areas and anyone that is home comes to the door and tells them how old the family members are.
“We’ve got tons of volunteers that each have a bag for each age and they get a gift,” Lizon said.
The Gary Effect rewards Winnipeggers for random acts of kindness around the city throughout the year as well, with a goal of uniting communities.
“If we’re having a bad day we’ll try and change that we’ll go to Polo Park and hand out gift cards, we’ll stick them on people’s cars,” Lizon said. “We just want to see people doing ice things for each other.”
The goal is to pass on what their father taught them, trying to impact people’s lives for the better.
“We need to take care of each other,” Boittiaux said.
You can catch the sisters paying it forward Dec 23 and Dec 24 around the city or read more about them here.