Digging Deep – and Snacking Hard – to Donate to Charities

What started as a simple way to quell the Work Day Snack O’Clock hankering has turned into a delicious way to give back to the community.

It started with a candy bowl, but before long, that bowl was supplying snacks for many a-co-worker’s sweet tooth. It became the new water cooler, with people getting up to stretch their legs, come by to say, “Hi,” grab a goody, and be on their merry way. The visitors and quick catch-ups were great, but with the snack stash needing to be restocked every few days, it was suddenly proving to be an expensive undertaking. Then, that lightbulb moment struck.

A price tag was put on the candy. At 25 cents a piece, all proceeds went to charity. Those quarters quickly added up. In 2015, the team donated over $800 to charities. In 2016, $900. The following year, another $700 was raised.

Since then, that little candy bowl has expanded into a fundraising confectionary zone that includes chips, chocolate bars, and other treats, all with prices set to help ensure a little extra can continue to be raised for a good cause. 

“Throughout the years, Matrix employees have really embraced the idea of paying a little more so we can give a little more to the community. I joke that we should be proud of our expanding waistlines, and since we supply the goods, we’ve come to be known as the Matrix Mafia,” laughs Shannon Savory, editor-in-chief at Matrix Group Publishing Inc. 

“We’re going to get snacky throughout the day, anyway,” she says. “Why not put that toward a good cause? It’s amazing to see what a few people and a bunch of treats can accomplish!”

In 2018, the team was astonished to see they’d raised $1,000. In 2019, they raised approximately $1,500.

“I need my morning coffee and muffin, and the Mafia always delivers,” says Neil Gottfred, sales manager at Matrix Group Publishing Inc. “It’s an honour to spend money with the Mafia when I know the good that is being accomplished. Whatever charity we donate to, we do it with heart. Every effort we put forth to help make someone’s life a little bit easier or put a smile on someone’s face makes me proud to be a part of this team. It’s an honour to work with people who care. Every day, we take so many little things for granted and forget to realize that others aren’t as fortunate.”

With every $50 raised, the best “customer” typically gets to choose which worthwhile charity the money goes to, and Matrix has been proud to make donations to charities across the country and around the world. Over the last five years, the team has sent donations to the following organizations: 

  • Canadian Cancer Society to help fund clinical trials, the Pink Ribbon project, and brain cancer research.
  • Diabetes Canada to help fund research in Canada to find a cure for the disease.
  • Red Cross Canada to help in response to the Fort McMurray Wildfires.
  • Samaritan’s Purse Canada’s Operation Christmas Child to send learning supplies, toys, small candies, and everyday necessities to be distributed to children in need around the world.
  • Plan Canada, which helps families around the world by providing things like bed nets to prevent Malaria, school essentials for children, and meals for children so they’re not at school on an empty stomach.
  • Tim Horton Children’s Foundation Camps, which help economically disadvantaged kids build life skills, confidence, and so much more.
  • The Hamilton FoodShare Program, Winnipeg Harvest, The Main Street Project, Pizza Treat for the Street, and Siloam Mission, to help support their programming and services for the less fortunate, provided free-of-charge and with dignity and respect.
  • Pulford Community Living Services, a not-for-profit, community-based organization that strives to help provide housing and support to persons with developmental disabilities. 
  • Special Olympics Manitoba, which enriches the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability through sport.
  • Bell Let’s Talk, the Manitoba Schizophrenia Society, and Artbeat Studio (via the Winnipeg Foundation), to help ensure the ongoing availability of programming for mental health and wellness.
  • Reaching Out Winnipeg, which promotes the resettlement of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers in Winnipeg and beyond.
  • The St. Boniface Hospital, Health Sciences Centre, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, to help make a difference in child health and research. 
  • Child and Family Services, Rossbrook House, Alpha House, Willow Place, to help those fleeing domestic abuse.
  • Manitoba Children’s Museum’s Free2Play Access Program, which brings under-supported children to the museum for school visits, day camps, special events, and after-school clubs at no cost.
  • D’Arcy’s Animal Rescue Centre, Manitoba Mutts, Craig Street Cats, Central Paws Dog Rescue, All Shepherd Rescue, Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter, Winnipeg Humane Society, Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre, World Wildlife Federation, which rescue animals from situations of abandonment, homelessness, neglect, and abuse by providing food, shelter, and medical care.
  • Christmas hampers to families up North, with household goods (sugar, flour, spices, toilet paper) and goodies (chocolates, small gifts) to two families in Nunavut, where prices for these things are extraordinarily expensive.