Shoppers Love You campaign launched

Shoppers Drug Mart's annual Shoppers Love You campaign started October 9 and runs for four weeks. This year the fundraiser will be supporting Eden Health Care Services to provide Christmas gifts to people in hospital and bring a wellness library to the area. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

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Next time you stop by Shoppers Drug Mart, be sure to spare a few dollars to help them fill their tree and support a local organization.

Every year Shoppers runs their Shoppers Love You campaign in the fall. The stores pick a local organization that focuses on women’s health, especially mental health, to benefit from the fundraiser.

The fundraising campaign kicked off on October 9 and runs for four weeks. People shopping can donate $1, $5, $10 or $50 and write their name on a shape, that will be added to a tree at the front of the store to fill the tree with leaves.

This year, the Winkler location has chosen Eden Foundation.

“Eden… has definitely been serving here for a long, long time,” Winkler Shoppers Drug Mart owner Zahid Zehri said. “We had a very good partnership last time. It went very well, it was really a good response from the community.”

This is the third time Shoppers has partnered with Eden for their Shoppers Love You campaign. Last year, proceeds from the fundraiser went to a playground at the Enns Court Supported Housing Apartments.

“That play area that we had designated funds for has actually taken off,” Eden Foundation Director of Development Earl Reimer said. “It has exploded into something that’s even bigger. With that play structure being developed in the area, there’s also going to be a seating area and a gazebo that another project has built into that.”

“From what has begun here, it has developed into something more,” he added. “This seed money that Shoppers Drug Mart presented to us was a real benefit.”

This year the funds will be going toward two causes. One will be providing people in hospital with Christmas gifts. “For many people Christmas is a celebratory, family time and if you’re away from home and there are those that potentially don’t have family who are coming to visit, it’s nice to receive something during that period of time,” Reimer said.

The other cause being supported is the development of a wellness library. Eden Health Care Services has had a wellness library running in their Steinbach office for some years, and Reimer said it’s time to bring that to Winkler. “We have some evidence to prove that it is a viable service that we can provide that people do want,” he said.

Eden will be acquiring items like books, CDs and DVDs that will be available for anyone to use.

Zehri said he appreciates that Eden is bringing a wellness library to the area. “There’s a relation between education and mental health,” he said. “Once you have a level of education… it will be easy to handle them.”

Zehri pointed out a stat in the city’s recent Vital Signs report. “If you give $1 toward mental health counselling, you will save $530 per person for hospitalization,” he said. “If you collect $3,000, we’re going to save $1.5 million off hospitalization due to mental health.”

Zehri said he is encouraging Winkler residents to spend even $1 in four weeks. “If we have 14,000 people living in Winkler, we can get around $14,000 and you can multiply that by the $530 for how much money we’re going to save. It’s a very small amount to invest, but it’s a huge impact on the life of different families.”