2019 Christmas Hamper Party

Mark your calendar for this year’s…

19th Annual
Christmas Hamper Party!
Sunday, December 22, 12-3pm

St. Mary’s Church
1701 Elgin Road,
Victoria BC V8R 5L7

This will be the 19th year our party has helped the Salvation Army meet the overwhelming demand for fresh food hampers to feed families in need.

Last year we were able to fill an impressive 169 fresh food hampers. 
This year we’re going for 200!

We’ll soon be posting details on this year’s party.
Check out the rest of our site to learn more about what we do and how you can join in the fun!

See us in action…
Loading our finished hampers onto the Salvation Army trucks.

The 2018 final count?… A staggering 169 hampers!

Parties we’ve inspired in Mississauga and Saanich also broke their records.  Mississauga did 65 hampers and the Peninsula Party in Saanich an impressive 79.   We’ve started a movement!

Here’s how party day unfolded…

Up at the front, our dear pianist Michael Heaney played carols and show tunes as he’s done for the last three years.

Nearby, Di Madill’s décor team, armed with sharp scissors and glue guns, wrestled cedar boughs, ribbon and decorations into lavish toppers for each finished hamper.

At the opposite end of the church, Elf Rhona McAdam presided over refreshments as she has since almost our first party.

In the middle, party pros and newcomers alike were hard at work, happy to be doing something concrete to turn the holidays around for those in need.  First job was to divide the bulk produce, coffee, teabags and treats into hamper sized parcels.  The atmosphere was festive with chatter, Michael’s piano and the smell of cedar, oranges and the Level Ground coffee volunteers were packaging.

Our impressive stats!

Once all the food was inspected and packaged it was time to pause for cookies, hot chocolate and a party report.  Coast Capital Savings presented us with a cheque for $600 and then later surprised us with a totally unexpected second cheque for $1500!

Joyce then shared a bit of Hamper Party history and read out Banker Elf Laura’s Hamper Party Stats.  I’ve updated them to include this year’s party:

 

 

 

 

  • 1874 hampers donated
  • At 4 meals per turkey (and many turkeys feed more than that) that’s 7,496 dinners and breakfasts.
  • At $55 per hamper (our cost—way below what you’d pay if you tried to buy the food individually at a grocery store) that’s $103, 070 worth of food.

And that doesn’t even include the cash donations and hundreds of pounds of extra food we’ve given the Salvation Army over the years.

Then it was time to pack those hampers!

As teams of two carried a hamper down the aisle, workers stationed at each pew passed them food items that were then checked off that hamper’s checklist.

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the aisle, quality control checkers made sure everything was properly packed (milk and butter next to frozen turkey, delicate items on top, everything on list included).  On went one of the Décor Team’s gorgeous fresh cedar decorations and the finished hamper was slipped into a clear plastic bag and hauled outside to stay cold.
 

In just three hours we divvied up, packaged, packed and decorated over 6000 pounds of food—and beautiful food, too: frozen turkeys and fresh fruit and veggies, Portofino bread and real butter, pies and treats and eggs for Christmas morning breakfast.  As is our tradition, when the Salvation Army arrived at 2pm we trooped outside to load the trucks to the stirring skirl of Josh MacDonald’s bagpipes.

Who received our hampers?

Ten of our hampers went to our gracious host Church of St. Mary the Virgin Oak Bay to distribute to parishioners in need. The remaining 159 hampers went to the Salvation Army along with boxes and boxes of extra veggies and goodies we just couldn’t fit into our already bulging hampers.

Check out our website https://christmashamperparty.wordpress.com or our Facebook page Christmas Hamper Party Victoria where we’ll be posting photographer Terry Stitt’s beautiful photos and a video of us loading up the Salvation Army’s big trucks to the skirl of Josh MacDonald’s bagpipes. https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=christmas%20hamper%20party%20-%20victoria%20bc&epa=SEARCH_BOX.

Who helped make it happen?

As always, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors.  All our donors give to the best of their ability, so we do not credit individual donations no matter how large. We do, however, want to thank the generous businesses without whom we couldn’t possibly have fed so many families.  We hope you’ll support them in return.  Many thanks to:

  • Coast Capital Savings
  • Level Ground Trading
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Cassels Murray Law Office
  • Portofino Bakery
  • Power to Be
  • Morning Fresh Eggs on Blenkinsop
  • Bottle Depot
  • Coca Cola
  • Root Cellar
  • Canadian Tire
  • Esquimalt Country Grocer
  • Fernwood Dental

Finally, thank you to St. Mary’s Incumbent Craig Hiebert and to our unbelievably hard working and dedicated Head Elves Laura MacDonald (mission control), Paul MacDonald, James Van Dam, Lisa Pacquin and Dan Doherty.  The hours they spent planning, budgeting, bookkeeping, promoting, comparison shopping, hustling donations, and picking up and hauling thousands of pounds of food is what makes the magic happen for all of us.

Happy Holidays.  See you next year!
Joyce & Head Elves Laura, Paul, James, Lisa & Dan

What people are saying about the Victoria party…

  • What a wonderful party – and an amazing result. Both Lily and I had a grand time yesterday!We know how beneficial the gift of a hamper can be to so many people at this time of year. But your gift to the party-goers and hamper-makers is immense as well. You made it so easy, so gratifying, and so fun for all of us to act generously. Thankyou for that incalculable offering. Merry Christmas, Jean Macgregor

  • I am so pleased to have been a part of the Hamper Party although I was not there in person, I was in spirit.  What a wonderful thing to do for our fellow earth citizens.  It is the thing to do  . . .  to look after those who are not as fortunate as we and to let them know that some of us care. Many thanks for including us and Morning Fresh, Marnie Crowe and Lawrence Eastick
  • I am contacting you on behalf of Bernice Carter and the Victoria Chapter of the CCA to express our gratitude for your donation of gluten free products and gift certificates to our inaugural Gluten-Free Christmas Hamper initiative. hard-working volunteers created no less than 21 hampers containing your donations, apples, oranges, vegetables, milk, turkeys and more. I had the privilege of delivering the hamper pictured to a woman in need and received the heartwarming email of thanks below. The very best to you this season! Ellen Bayens
    • Thank you and your members for a very unexpected .. delightful surprise!  How very kind and generous of you and the members of the Victoria Chapter to think of me, especially when we’ve only met on two short occasions.  I’ve been very blessed.  With the bounty I received I shared it with my neighbour below me, as he has so little … when it comes to food.  He thanks you so much as well.  In fact he was as surprised as I was.  A loss for words … we both suffered from that last night.  That was a sweet a loving gesture – I thank you from the bottom of my heart. M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S to all Santa’s Helpers . Best Wishes and Happy Holidays”

Host Your Own Hamper Party!

We are overwhelmed by the incredible response we’ve had since the Globe and Mail article came out on Friday. There are now hamper parties sprouting up all over the place for this Christmas: Grimsby, Ontario and Nanaimo, B.C. in Canada and San Diego and Placerville in California.  And all in the last two days!  We wish you all well and know you’ll come to love this festive holiday tradition as much as we do.

If you’re thinking of hosting your own party, we’ve just posted our Top 10 Tips on “How to host your own Hamper Party” here. Please make sure to let us know how your party goes and share your hosting tips or ideas.

Warm wishes to all you Happy Hamperers!