Building and Delivering Christmas Hampers


The Community Christmas Hamper Fund in Campbell River, BC is organized by the Knights of Columbus, Bishop Hill Council 5468.

The goal of the Hamper Fund is simple: To help ensure that all are able to joyfully celebrate the season of Christmas. To this end the Knights have organized a drive to have hampers delivered in the week before Christmas to some members of the Campbell River Community and surrounding area.

The hampers do not only go to the most vulnerable and marginalized but also to a large number of the “working poor”, people who are having difficulty meeting all the normal daily demands placed on families and individuals. Further there are many seniors, singles and couples, for whom the reception of a Christmas Hamper is central to their ability to enjoy a Christmas celebration.

These hampers contain a generous amount of perishable and non-perishable food items as well as toys for children and gifts for seniors.

The 2019 Christmas Season marked the 46th consecutive year that Hamper Fund has been in existence. Fundamental to the success of the effort is, and has always been, the incredible generosity and social conscience of the people, businesses, organizations, clubs and schools of Campbell River. While the Knights organize the effort, it is the people who drive it. The table shown below gives an idea of the magnitude of the effort. There are 200 hampers assembled on the day before delivery day by volunteers from the community. The next morning the remainder are all assembled and delivered by volunteer residents that day.


The hamper fund, as organized by the Knights, was begun in 1972. Prior to that the Jaycees of Campbell River had done the task. On December 4, 1972 there was an article written by Donna Lamb in the local newspaper indicating that the Jaycees would no longer be in a position to continue the effort. Knight Theo Berns approached the then Grand Knight, Theo Derks, to ask if it would be possible for Council 5468 to keep the effort alive. There was agreement and in that first year the Knights delivered 52 hampers and had a working budget of $3,100.

For the first five years the hampers were assembled in the old community centre. Once the number of hampers reached 200, a number that was the case for a few years more, the Knights sought out other temporary premises for the effort. At about the same time they started a bid process among the local grocery stores for the items that were required to fill the hampers, a process that is still in effect today. It is worthy of note, and testimony to the generosity of local building owners, that in all the years that the hamper fund has existed it has happened on only two occasions where there was rent to be paid for the temporary use of a building. In most instances the owners have also absorbed any utility bills as well.

There were many years where the number of hampers hovered between 600 and 800 but in recent years that has increased dramatically. The table above clearly indicates that fact.


As has been previously stated, it is the community that drives the hamper fund. Without the annual generous donations of food items, money and toys, the hamper fund would simply cease to exist. Enough groceries, both perishable and non-perishable, are needed to fill the 1100 to 1200 hundred hampers.

To view what goes into a hamper, please click HERE.

In addition there are normally over 700 hampers that contain gifts for seniors or toys for children.

Donations of all types can be made at the Hamper Depot location or by mail using the address given in the "CONTACT US" section lower on this page. The location of the Hamper Office for 2020 is yet to be determined. The office will be open starting mid-November to accept donations of non-perishable foods, new toys and money. The office is open from Monday to Saturday in November and December. In November the hours are from 10:00am until 2:00pm and in December from 10:00am until 5:00pm.

An official income tax receipt will be either sent in early January by mail for any donation of money. At the actual time of the donation made at the hamper office a temporary receipt is issued. There is no receipt given for either donated toys or food. If a donation is made online, then will issue an official Canadian tax receipt for 100% of the donation.

To make a donation to the Hamper Fund through, please click on the DONATE button below.


You don't have to formally sign up to help out, just show up at this year's depot. We will be building hampers starting at 8:00am on the Saturday before Christmas. You can help out with that or some other task in the depot, restocking shelves, getting rid of cardboard and plastic, and the like. Alternatively, if you have a SUV or pickup, you might want to help with the delivery.

We will build about 1160 hampers and the end should be near 1:00pm. It is not necessary to stay or volunteer for the whole time. You can come later if you wish and work for as long as you desire.

When it was stated that the community "drives" the fund, it is literally the truth. Once the hampers have been assembled by volunteers, other volunteers are required to deliver the hampers using their vehicles. This usually begins about 8:00am and continues until all hampers have left the depot. Typically the deed is accomplished by early afternoon.

It is amazing to see the number of vans, trucks and cars that appear to tackle the task. Some families have been delivering for over 15 years. It has become a part of their Christmas Tradition.

An equally dedicated group of volunteers appears to assemble the hampers. This is done by "shopping" and is a sight to behold how efficiently and smoothly it unfolds. People who have "shopped" will tell you that it is a very rewarding experience.

To see a short movie and get a little better understanding of the event, please click HERE.

To volunteer one merely has to show up on either delivery day or the evening before. On the Friday evening there are 200 hampers built to give a headstart to the effort the next day and about 10 shoppers are needed. On delivery day itself there are more shoppers needed as well as delivery people and their vehicles.

The number of volunteers needed on delivery day to complete all aspects of the task is about two hundred.

If you wish to get more information on dates and times then you may contact the fund using the information shown below in the "CONTACT US" section. The phone line will only be active once the depot is opened (third week of November).



The hamper application forms are available only at the Campbell River Employment & Income Assistance Office located at 833A 14th Ave. The forms must be filled out and returned to this same location. Generally there is a box decorated like a Christmas present on the table near the phone. It is in this box that the completed forms must be placed.

Each year there is an application deadline that is well-advertised in the Campbell River Mirror, on the radio at 2Day FM 99.7. This year the deadline is on the day that we have received our quota of 1160 applications, whenever that day is. After this deadline there are "late" application forms available at the location of the hamper depot.

The various health agencies and social ministries in Campbell River also have forms that are used for people who would otherwise be unable to visit the Employment & Income Assistance to fill out a form. This is generally the case for some seniors or people who are ill.


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V9W 2M8


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November: Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm
December: Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm