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Montreal Mama Clauses prepare for the holidays

Click to play video: 'Montreal mothers team up to gather presents for children' Montreal mothers team up to gather presents for children
WATCH: For the fourth year in a row, Montreal's Les Mères Noël volunteers teamed up to gather holiday gifts for children from lower-income families. – Dec 8, 2019

You’ve heard of the white-bearded man by the name of Santa Claus, but how about neighborhood Mama Clauses?

Les Mères Noël are five eager and generous women from Verdun dedicated to delivering Christmas gifts to Montreal children in need.

For the past four years, Amélie Tremblay and Hélène Lefebvre have been working with community shelters and not-for-profit organizations to gather more than 500 gifts for children in the South West boroughs who need some extra love this holiday season.

“The children get registered and make a wish of what they would like,” said Lefebvre. “Then we transfer the information to the donors, we go get the gifts, set the routes and give the gifts to the families.”

The family enters the first name of the child, with their age, gender and three choices of gifts. This information is then automatically sent to the donor at random.

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READ MORE: Mères Noël: Montreal mothers on a mission to collect Christmas gifts for children

“The donors they go to buy gifts from $20 to $30, they wrap it and they take it to the deposit point where they decide to go,” said Tremblay.

The mother’s got the idea when they realized how fortunate their children were on Christmas Day.

The reality set in that not every family can afford to buy gifts for their children, let alone put food on the table.

“It was really important to me to do something significant at Christmas and, so yeah, Les Mères Noël are a good way to do it,” said Tremblay.

New this year are the drop-off stations in each borough where you can buy, wrap and drop off your donated gifts all in one trip.

“We try to have drop-off locations a bit everywhere,” said Lefebvre. “So it’s not too hard for the donor to always come to Verdun.”

READ MORE: Welcome Hall Mission welcomes Montreal families to their Noël Pour Tous event

The Mama Clauses are working extra hard, around the clock, to ensure 500 children are happy during the holidays.

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“Right now we are not sleeping,” said Tremblay, laughing.

The best part of all, they say, is seeing the smiles on delivery day.

“When you get to see the reaction, it’s not everyone that has a reaction but some parents are really touched and some kids are running and really excited like kids with gifts,” said Lefebvre.

“The Mères Noël, the moment you see it in the eyes of the kids, the moment you feel that the person who gives is so happy to give, you can read the emails, they are just super excited,” said Tremblay.

Five hundred gifts will be delivered to families in the borough of LaSalle, Verdun, Ville-Emard, Pointe-Saint-Charles and Saint-Henri on Dec. 21 and 22.

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