Winnipegger Hayden LaRiviere and his wife Jess founded MUTT Movement in their spare time as a way of giving back to the city one kind act at a time.
"MUTT Movement is basically a collection of people that want to come together and make a difference in our city and Treaty One," says LaRiviere. "We want to give back to our community. Right now our initiatives are working with seniors, elders, and folks with exceptionalities, and newcomers."
The idea started organically six months ago during the summer, according to LaRiviere.
"We were doing some service work around the city and figured, why not make this a real thing. It started with a dream and snowballed into what it is now."
Hayden and Jess have full time jobs apart from this initiative, with Hayden teaching and Jess in sales. They also have two children, 12 and 9, that help out and give back to the community alongside the couple. MUTT Movement has a few volunteers but they are hoping to get more people involved.
"The idea for the name started with mutt being something that's mixed up," says LaRiviere. "As a boy, I was called a mutt as a slur. I figured it would be cool to take that word and reclaim it. My wife and I figured that I'm not the only mutt in the city. There are lots of people that come from various backgrounds, belief systems, cultures, and values. It's something we can celebrate."
This venture from the LaRiviere family is done in partnership with other organizations.
"It's always working in conjunction with folks. We're not trying to take a piece of the pie, but rather be united."
For people that have mobility issues, whether from age or health reasons, MUTT Movement is offering free shovelling. Anyone in need can connect with them through their Instagram page or by emailing email@example.com.
"The reaction has been very positive. It's remarkable how much people appreciate and love the help. I think our elders sometimes get overlooked when we get a big snowfall. Jess and I are two people, our kids are two people, and everyone can make a difference even if it's just helping a neighbour shovel. It all starts with us."
People who want to volunteer alongside the LaRiviere's with MUTT Movement can connect through social media as well.
"This is a passion project. I don't know where it's going to go but I'm excited to see where it heads in 2023. This is all just about giving back and doing our part as community members to try and make a difference in this world."