2016 Final Hamper Count

The Final Count…

I know you’re waiting to hear the final hamper count.  Last year we filled 142 hampers, but this year…we did even better!  148 beautifully decorated hampers stuffed to the brim with wholesome fresh goodies.  Even the weather cooperated to make this one of our Best. Parties. Ever.

Thanks to Our Venue Hosts

Once again, the Monterey Concert Band played and our hosts, Canadian College of Performing Arts’ brilliant triple threat students entertained us as we worked.  Thank you, students and CCPA Director Ron Schuster, for taking us under your wing and working beside us for the last four years.

Thanks to the Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Pat Humble arrived early this year to give us a quick outline of the impressive services the Sally Ann provides to prepare clients for employment.  As always, he reminded us how much our hampers mean to the families who receive them. 

Telus Tops the Tree

Then, this year’s exciting first—a photo op with one of those giant ceremonial cheques!  TELUS’s Regional Market Manager Sean Donnelly presented our party with the $1000 donation from TELUS PureFibre that put us over the top.

Thanks to the Many Individual Contributors

It is the collective generosity of our stalwart individual cash and food donors that keep the party going, but our tradition is to not reveal individual donor amounts since we know all our donors are giving what they can. 

Thanks to Our Generous Suppliers

We really must thank our business donors, because without their unbelievable support we could never have accomplished what we did this year:

And to the Elves…

Finally, huge thanks to amazing Organizing Elves Dan Doherty, Laura & Paul MacDonald, Lisa Pacquin & James VanDam, Val Sharp, head Décor Elf Di Madill, and our dear piper Josh MacDonald.  Even in Santa’s workshop, thousands of dollars and thousands of pounds of food doesn’t get planned, budgeted, comparison shopped, ordered, promoted, coordinated, picked up and delivered, and properly recorded for tax purposes without a lot of Elf hours.  They are an amazing team!

Together we fed the hungry and those who otherwise may have lost hope.  Isn’t that the essence of the holiday spirit?

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah & Happy New Year!

Joyce & Elves Dan, Laura, Paul, Lisa, James, Val, Josh & Di


Save the date!

It’s Victoria’s 16th annual…Christmas Hamper party!

Sunday, December 11, 2016     1-4 pm

Canadian College of Performing Arts

1701 Elgin Ave.

Mark your calendars! There’s only a little while till Victoria’s best holiday event.

Since 2001, our annual Christmas Hamper Party has lovingly created 1400 fresh food hampers for the Salvation Army to donate to needy families. Last year alone we made up 142, each filled to the brim with a frozen turkey, fresh fruit and veggies, holiday treats and all the fixings needed for a festive holiday feast. This year we want at least 150!

Come join us for a fun afternoon of holiday carols and show tunes by our hosts, the talented students of the Canadian College of Performing Art, plus light refreshments, bagpipes, and the true spirit of the season as collectively we pack our hampers with the beautiful food we’ve collected. Let’s share our good fortune by feeding as many hungry families as we can!

Details about what and how to contribute to this year’s party will be coming soon.  New to the party?  There’s lots of info on this site to inspire you and show you what a great event a hamper party can be.

Wha-hoo! 2015 Hamper Party success

Remember how a week before party day we were in a panic because we had only managed to raise about $1600 dollars? Well…

The Elves and I are thrilled to report that this year we managed to blast past last year’s party to create—drum roll, please—142 hampers! Three Salvation Army cube vans couldn’t hold all the food and we had to commandeer an Elf’s car for the overflow. On top of that, we gave the Salvation Army four extra cases of fresh produce and $250, and had extra treats to add to the hamper we gave the Canadian College of Performing Arts’ student food bank.

This was our 15th anniversary. Since that first party celebrated 30 hampers in 2001, we’ve donated a total of 1,383 hampers, plus hundreds of dollars and thousands of pounds of additional food, to the Salvation Army to feed those who otherwise would have faced a bleak, hungry holiday season.

Twice party-goers have quietly pulled Joyce aside to tell her that they had received one of our hampers in the past. They were at the party to pay it forward for others and when they saw the distinctive tags showing the weight of the turkeys, they realized the hamper they’d once received had been one of ours.

Of course, the selfish reason we keep on partying is that working together is such fun! We can thank Joe Hatherill and the Monterey Jazz Band for starting off the festive mood and, above all, the talented students and staff of our host, the Canadian College of Performing Arts who entertained and worked beside us to make this epic event possible. Directors Ron Schuster and Darold Roles, thank you for taking us under your wing three years ago!

And what would we do without the advance efforts and heavy lifting (literally) of the Organizing Committee Elves? They are: Laura MacDonald (saintly Banker Elf and shopper extraordinaire), James VanDam (directing the action each year out front as Warehouse Elf), Dan Doherty (media guru and red-shirted Bagging Elf), Val Sharp (charming Greeter Elf and valued organizer), Josh MacDonald (our inspiring bagpiper and Recycling Elf), Lisa Paquin (Quality Control Elf and pea soup chef) and Aaron Hall (Head Runner Elf).

Record cash donations helped put us over the top, but our tradition is to not reveal individual donor amounts since we know all our donors are giving what they can.

We’re especially thankful for the businesses that gave so generously and really put themselves out to help us get turkeys last minute at rock bottom prices:

Thrifty’s Tuscany Village, Thrifty’s Cloverdale & Quadra, Wholesale Club, Level Ground Coffee, Staff at Zambri’s restaurant, Portofino Breads, Farideh Dance Arts, Paris Roka Chocolates, Morning Fresh Eggs, Coca Cola, Cobbs Oak Bay, Hidden Places Adventure Tours, April Robins Garden Design, Baan Thai Restaurants, Coventry Carollers, Law Office of Sarah L. Klinger

We’ll close with an email Joyce read on party day. It was from a single mother putting her life together again after addiction and was forwarded to Joyce in 2007 via the social worker who gave her one of our hampers.

“Last Christmas I received a hamper. It was a complete Christmas dinner as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. As I was just barely getting on my feet at this time it was quite an amazing gift. The fact that someone went to the trouble to put this together for me enabled me to have all my children together for our first Christmas together in two years. I would like to thank you now for the thought and planning that went into this last year. My fridge was full and it was a lovely feeling to know that we were safe, warm well fed and together.”

Thank you all for making this year’s party such a smashing success. Happy Holidays and a joyous New Year to you all!

See you next December,

Joyce and Head Elves Laura, James, Lisa, Dan, Val, Josh & Aaron











Party info and update…we’re only a week away!

Normally the Elves and I are overwhelmed with generous donations from both Hamper Party regulars and newcomers who want to join us. This year donations are way down—the party is only a week away and we’re not even half way to the $4000 or so we need to buy and fill 100 hampers, even at the rock bottom prices we get by buying so much of the hamper food in bulk.

We know that busy Victorians RSVP last minute, but we can’t order in bulk without giving suppliers a few days advance notice, so please take just a minute now to RSVP what you’re contributing. Here’s the link to our online Punchbowl invitation: http://www.punchbowl.com/parties/f68af780ab92fb55df32. Any contribution you can make would be so appreciated by families unable to put a holiday meal on the table without our party.

On the invitation click “Select Potluck Items” and you can see what food items we need and indicate what you’ll be bringing. If you want to contribute money in advance (very helpful!), there’s a link on the same page to the Canadian College of Performing Arts’s CanadaHelps donation portal. Just select HAMPER PARTY 2015 from the “Select the Fund Your Donation Will Support” drop-down menu and your donation will come straight to our party, plus you’ll be able to generate a tax receipt you can print out.  To go directly use this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/13613

Because CCPA will be using St. Mary’s (the hall we usually use), they’re hosting our party in Henderson Hall at 1632 Yale Street. (Henderson Hall is actually just behind St. Mary’s but, because Yale is a dead end street, you’ll enter off Yale instead of Elgin. A Google map is on your Punchbowl invitation.)

We’ve moved our party mailing list to MailChimp so please check your spam folder for email coming from christmashamperparty@gmail.com.

We have a generous coffee donation from Level Ground as well as gift cards from Wholesale Club, SaveOn Foods and Oak Bay Cobbs. Thank you so much to our community-minded business donors!

CCPA’s staff and students, the Elves and the Salvation Army are looking forward to party day. 120 empty hampers are stacked and waiting—with your help we’ll fill them all so we can fill the bellies and hearts of those who so desperately need to know someone cares.

See you December 6th!

Joyce and Elves James & Lisa, Laura & Paul, Dan, Josh, Aaron & Janet

Save the date for Hamper Party 2015!

The rain is finally here and the trees are almost bare which means it’s only one month until

Victoria’s 15th Annual


Sunday, December 6     1-4 pm

Canadian College of Performing Arts

1701 Elgin Ave.

Those of you who are old hands at our heartwarming annual party, know how fantastic it feels to donate and then collectively put together 110-150 wholesome fresh food hampers for the Salvation Army–while enjoying munchies and listening to festive carols and show tunes courtesy of CCPA’s talented “triple threat” students. For those of you who haven’t joined us before, welcome to a festive afternoon that embodies the true spirit of the holiday season.

Want to join us? Here’s your  2015 Hamper Party Invitation.

Now on to this year’s update! The hampers are ordered.  Canadian Tire will sell us hampers for just $3.99 each and once again Level Ground is generously donating bulk coffee for us to package. We are approaching other business donors so if you have contacts with any that might be interested let Joyce know and she’ll forward you a form letter you can send them.

Last year’s system of encouraging cash donations through CCPA worked wonderfully well. Not only could party participants save time and receive charitable donation tax receipts this way, but we were able to bulk order turkeys, produce, milk, eggs, butter, etc. at much cheaper prices. Having these essential items on hand right from the start of the party made us much, much more efficient and saved our runners endless grief hustling from store to store at the last minute looking for turkeys.

In fact, we were so efficient we’ve decided to shorten the party by an hour because, with all hands on deck, we can get our hampers packed and ready for the Salvation Army to pick up by 4pm. We know busy partygoers will appreciate this. We’ll finish as many hampers as we can by 4pm and then give all remaining funds and food donations to the Salvation Army to apply towards the hampers they’re creating.

And as always, our brilliant bagpiper Josh MacDonald will pipe us out as we help the Salvation Army volunteers load up the trucks at the end of the day. If you haven’t stayed to witness this, it’s both thrilling and inspiring to hear the skirl of bagpipes as our “bucket brigade” moves the sea of hampers hand to hand into the trucks.

2014 Hamper Party is on the Way!


Click to Open Your Invitation

Save the Date! The 14th (amazing!) Annual Hamper Party will be held from 1 pm – 5 pm on Sunday December 7th, at the Canadian College of the Performing Arts. This year we’re asking you to consider making a cash donation in advance (by December 3) so we can buy supplies in bulk and stretch the giving goodness even farther! Food donations are still welcome of course – grab your copy of the invitation here, RSVP with what you’ll bring, and we’ll see you on the 7th for hamper-making, entertainment, socializing and delish holiday food and drink!


MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION ONLINE HERE! (Via the CCPAs Canada Helps Portal.  You can print a tax receipt instantly!)

Countdown to Sunday’s Hamper Party!

Party Envelope

RSVP now – click the envelope!

Hamper Party Day is nearly here! There are still many things we need, so have a look at the list below and help fill in the gaps by RSVPing – just click the envelope to get your personal invitation and let us know what you can bring (and when) this Sunday, Dec 8!


Fresh Fruit and Veg: Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Green Veg Oranges and other Fruit.

Dessert Crisis! Traditional Christmas Deserts like Fruitcake, Plum Pudding, Stollen, Shortbread and other treats.

Staples: Bread, Butter and Milk.

The Good Stuff: Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce or Cranberries.

We now have more than 90 turkeys! Thanks to all of you have either made financial donations, or committed to delivering a bird (or ten) to the event. Special thanks to Larry and Pauline Rittenhouse for 10 turkeys, and to Thrifty Foods for a donation and a discount on 40 turkeys!

Let’s try for 100 before Sunday!