Fourteen local charities received a shot in the arm Friday from Steinbach MCC.

Jason Hiebert is General Manager for Steinbach MCC Community Assistance Centre Inc. Hiebert says it has become tradition each December for them to hand a percentage of their earnings to assist local organizations. This year's cheques totalled $45,000.

Hiebert says they love to be able to partner both locally and internationally.

"We also want to be very visible here in the community," says Hiebert. "And we're very glad that we can partner beside these wonderful organizations."

This year's recipients are Agape House - Eastman Crisis Centre, Eastman Special Olympics, Eden Health Care Services, enVision Community Living, HavenGroup Foundation, Heartland Quilters, ROC Eastman, Soups On, South East Helping Hands, Steinbach Community Outreach, Steinbach Family Resource Centre, Sew and Sews (Steinbach MB Church), Today House and Youth For Christ Steinbach.

Hiebert explains they have an application process. Typically around September or October, the requests start coming in which are reviewed and decided upon by the board.

"(We are) very thankful for the people that do apply," says Hiebert.

According to Hiebert, the total amount donated has ranged between $40,000 and $50,000 over the last few years. He notes deciding how much to give is based on sales within the store.

When looking across the room Friday, Hiebert says the 14 charities deal with similar situations and help those in need.

"To see others here doing that within our community, that is just so great to see," he says.

(Charity representatives at Friday's donation ceremony)