December 20, 2018 6:21 pm

LITE Holiday Hamper creates employment opportunities in Winnipeg

WATCH: A Winnipeg program that blends community volunteers with paid helpers to build and deliver holiday hampers, gives those involved lasting benefits.

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The Winnipeg hamper program supported by Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE) has a little twist.

In addition to the many volunteers who help assemble and deliver the packages of food and other gifts, LITE provides funding for paid helpers.

“There’s a need for hampers but there’s also a need for employment and employment experience,” said Tyler Pearce, Executive Director of LITE.

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The goal of LITE is to create jobs that will build someone’s skills and resume for long-term employment in the future. Often the jobs are for people with little or no work experience,

“It’a about giving people the tools and experience to be able to help themselves.”

“For us this is very ground level community economic development,” Pearce said.

RELATED: Not-so-secret Santa: Selkirk man steps in to save Christmas hamper program

Eight people, including Brian Helgason, were hired to make 300 hampers through the North End Community Renewal Corporation.

He’s recently unemployed.

“Everybody knows that people need things around Christmas time — it’s just the way it is,” Helgason said.

“Everybody’s hurting, nobody’s saying nothing and these people are helping people out, which is great.”

The holiday hamper program is one of several different employment initiatives supported by LITE.

The organization itself was established in 1999.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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