Ham[er Delivery

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 2018 Christmas Season marks the 45th 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.

YEAR
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
# OF HAMPERS
1145
1185
1096
1156
1190
1158
1142

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.

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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 2018 is in the Campbell River Common Ironwood Street.

An official income tax receipt will be either sent in early January by mail or by email (donor's preference) for any donation of money. At the actual time of the donation a temporary receipt is issued. There is no receipt given for either donated toys or food.

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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 8:30am on a saturday close to 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 2:30pm. 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. There never has been a lack of bodies volunteering and I expect that this year to be the same.

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 or 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).

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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 dedline is tentatively set as Tuesday, December 5th. After this deadline there are "late" application forms available at the location of the hamper depot in the Campbell River Common.

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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Mailing Address
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS HAMPER FUND
P.O.BOX 196
CAMPBELL RIVER, BC
V9W 5A7

 

Email Address

 

Phone

250-204-1980

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

 

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