Zoom Party Celebrates 20 Years of Hampers, and $10,350 raised for Santas Anonymous!

FINAL COUNT – 2020 Hamper Party (the COVID-19 edition)

We more than did it…We Triumphed!!

I received the email I’ve been waiting for from Santas Anonymous letting us all know the total amount Christmas Hamper Party supporters donated to feed families in need this Christmas.  The Elves and I wanted to wait until we could relay that information before sending out this year’s final report so—drum roll, please!—we are beyond thrilled to let you know that in spite of having to go virtual this year, our faithful party supporters donated a whopping

$10,350 to Santas Anonymous!
Our party has become a huge part of the holiday season and while we look forward to once again filling beautiful fresh food hampers next year, let’s pause for a moment to give thanks that this year—even in the midst of a global pandemic—we were able to feed so many struggling families.
Watch the ZOOM PARTY
If you weren’t able to join this year’s virtual Zoom party celebrating 20 years of Christmas Hamper Parties Past, our awesome Queen of Zoom Elf Darlene recorded it for you.  You don’t have to do anything except click on the link below to watch a fun-filled hour of photos, videos, and anecdotes from past parties, Kady Savard singing Christmas carols, actors reading letters from hamper participants, and much, much more.  
So settle down with a festive drink and see what we’ve accomplished working together.  Here’s that link!
Happy New Year!
Joyce and Elves Dan, Paul, Laura, James, Lisa, Val & Darlene

Joyce makes her now famous eggnog at the first hamper party – Toronto 1995

Celebrating 20 Years of Hamper Making

Not even a pandemic can stop Christmas Hamper Party 2020!  

Hamper Party 2013

Hamper Party Update

Dec 11 – Donate via Santas Anonymous on the web by Dec 11
or phone in your donation during the CFAX Radiothon 250-386-1161

Dec 11 – Listen for Joyce on CFAX AM Radio 1070 KHz, 1:30 PM (PT) Dec 11

Dec 12Subscribe to join our 20th anniversary Zoom party at 7 PM on Dec 12
(if you are already on our list, then watch for an email with the link)

We had to shift gears this year, but we’ve gotten creative and we are going to feed as many desperate families as we possibly can.
A description of how you can contribute—and party virtually with us—is below.  It’s vital that we keep the party going.  Last year we donated 175 hampers.  Next year we’re going for 200!  
We all miss our beautiful annual event, but donating this year through Santas Anonymous has the potential to give our party great exposure.  At the CFAX Miracle on Broad Street radiothon (6 AM- 6 PM Dec 11 – 1070 KHz AM band), you can phone 250-386-1161 to donate and they announce each donor group’s contribution.  This is a chance for us to explain what we do and attract possible food donations for next year. Joyce will be on air for 5 min at 1:30 on Fri Dec 11.

If you donate online following the instructions below before December 11, Santas Anonymous will know your donation is coming from our party (type “Joyce’s Christmas Hamper Party” in the comment).  Let’s show them what Christmas Hamper Party people can do!

See you all 7pm December 12, 2020  when we party together on Zoom to celebrate our 20 years of collective holiday giving!  If you have not received an email with the Zoom link by 6 PM Dec 12, then subscribe or email Dan to request the link.

Joyce & Elves Dan, James, Lisa, Laura, Paul, Val and Dar

Hamper Party 2017

20th Annual Christmas Hamper Party is Dec 12, 2020 (donate by Dec 11)

Kind, Calm, Safe…and Giving.  Welcome to our “Covid-Christmas” Hamper Party 2020 Online Event! 

It’s our 20th anniversary! Please read the details carefully. It’s different this year.

The plan for this year’s Covid-Christmas Hamper Party?  After much thought, the Elves feel those most in need of help this year are families struggling to feed school aged children who would normally have access to free meals through various school programs but who will go hungry over the holiday season without our help.

We’re throwing our 2020 Party Power behind Santas Anonymous, because they target families with children, they maintain the list of food hamper requests used by other charities including the Salvation Army and they issue charitable donation receipts.  In addition, they can track donations that specify they are coming from Joyce’s Christmas Hamper Party, so our party stays intact and we’ll be able to report back to you how much we collectively donated to help feed hungry local kids.

Here’s how we’re still going to party!

At 7 PM Saturday December 12th, we’ll continue our annual tradition with a one hour Zoom event featuring testimonials, photos, videos and moving tales of past parties, and Josh MacDonald’s annual bagpipe serenade.  Joyce will even break 20 years of silence and give out her eggnog recipe

Cinevic Society of Independent Filmmakers has graciously offered us use of their corporate Zoom account so we’re not limited in how many can watch along…and comment on Zoom’s chat function. 

Click the Contact tab and request the Zoom ID and passcode.

Here’s how you can join in this year’s party to feed hungry kids. It’s as easy as 1, 2 3.

  1. Donate via CanadaHelps website before the December 11 cuttoff  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/cfaxsantas/
  2. Enter the amount of your donation where it says Donate to This Charity (CFAX Santas Anonymous).
  3. Type “A food hamper donation from Joyce’s Christmas Hamper Party” in the message box so Santas Anonymous will know the donation came through our party; then click Continue With Donation to add your credit card and other information.

This is undoubtedly going to be the toughest holiday season many families have ever faced

It’s up to those of us who can to give more generously than ever.  If you prefer donating to another charity, the Salvation Army and the Mustard Seed also provide hampers.  The important thing is to give whatever you can to alleviate the suffering of those in our community who are struggling in the face of this pandemic. Let’s all be “kind, calm, safe…and giving!”

Virtual hugs from Elves Joyce, Dan, Paul & Laura, James & Lisa, Val, and Dar

2020 Christmas Hamper Party

Mark your calendar for this year’s…Christmas Hamper Party!
Celebrating 20 years of hamper building.

via Zoom: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7-8 PM

Save This Date…
Saturday, December 12, 2020  7-8 PM
A Zoom videoconference celebration

Kind, Calm, Safe…and Giving! That’s Hamper Party 2020!

Since we can’t risk stuffing hampers together, we are partnering with Santas Anonymous to collect funds for food hampers, and we’ll keep the party spirit alive in a Zoom celebration of what we’ve accomplished over the years.  

CFAX Santas Anonymous

Every year since 2001 generous friends and neighbours have gathered to donate food, money and time to building Christmas fresh food hampers for local families in need.  Fueled by munchies and music, our annual Christmas Hamper Party has donated well over 2,000 hampers for the Salvation Army to distribute to grateful families. 

This is our 20th year! It may be the year of COVID-19but no way will that stop us
We are working out details with Santas Anonymous to make sure we can keep our party identity intact. This pandemic won’t last forever…but Christmas Hamper Party Victoria will!  We may have to bend tradition this year, but we can still feed the struggling families that need our help more desperately than ever.  

So…stay tuned for details and save the date for our 20th anniversary celebration via Zoom: Saturday, December 12, 2020 7-8 pm. 

— Joyce & Head Elves Dan, James & Lisa, Paul & Laura, and Val

In our first year we packed 50 hampers. Last year we created 175 hampers, each with a frozen turkey, wholesome fresh fruit and veggies, and all the fixings for a traditional turkey feast.

Salvation Army logo

The Salvation Army was able to distribute 2400 hampers last year, but they had 2900 requests. Every hamper we sponsor means one fewer family will go without.

Questions? Got a line on a possible business donor? Email us at christmashamperparty@gmail.com or contact Joyce at 250 891-6350.  And visit our awesome website https://christmashamperparty.wordpress.com and like our Facebook page:

Let’s celebrate this season by doing our part to make sure no struggling family goes hungry.

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

The 2019 final count?… a record-breaking 175 hampers!

2019 final hamper count…a record breaking 175 hampers!

That’s right, Hamper Party supporters—in spite of setbacks we broke last year’s record!  Here’s how we did it…

After our original turkey distributor left us turkey-less only a week before the party, Elf James sprang into action and with the help of B & C Food Distributors we were able to order 150 turkeys at $1.90 lb.  This was below retail cost but double what we’d paid last year.  Then—surprise!—when we opened the cases we found that the turkeys were 18-20 lb. monsters twice the size we’d ordered.  We weren’t charged for the extra weight, saving a couple thousand dollars, and we know the families receiving our hampers will be thrilled to have so many extra meals.

There were both new and familiar faces at this year’s party.  After seeing us in action last year, violinist Marjorie Cullerne volunteered to accompany our long-time pianist Michael Heaney.  Together they played away at the front of the church while at the opposite end Rhona McAdam once again served up coffee, hot chocolate and cookies.

Also up front, Di Madill’s clever décor team churned out fresh cedar decorations to top all 175 hampers.  We know the respectful little touches we include in each hamper are appreciated because one of the Salvation Army’s workers told Joyce that last year, on receiving one of our beautiful hampers, a recipient got tears in her eyes because “this is the only decoration I have this year.”

We started the day by divvying up bulk items, discarding anything bruised or damaged.  Soon every pew in the church was laden with goodies and the air was filled with music, the smell of oranges, fresh ground coffee and camaraderie.

Finally, it was time to fill those hampers!  Teams of three moved down the centre aisle with their hamper: one to carry, one to collect (heaviest items at the bottom) and one to cross each item off the hamper’s checklist.

Next, the hampers were topped with decorations, slipped into clear plastic leaf bags and placed outside to stay cold.

As always, when the Salvation Army trucks arrived we loaded up the sea of hampers to the stirring skirl of Josh MacDonald’s bagpipes.  We were also able to donate cartons of additional bread, fruit, and goodies, plus two boxes of pet treats for the Army’s pet food bank.  Eleven of our hampers went to the Songhees Wellness Centre—the only payment St. Mary’s asked for once again being our perfect venue.  (Thank you, St. Mary’s Incumbent Craig Heibert!)  The remaining 164 hampers went to a grateful Salvation Army for distribution.

Thanks to Norm Francoeur who picked up thousands of pounds of food on party day and to HandyDART for letting us use their van.  And for the eco-curious, at the end of the day Elf Paul hauled away an entire commercial bin of cardboard for recycling.

It is our policy not to single our individual donors, but we really must thank the generosity of our many business donors.  Without them, especially Coast Capital Savings Cadboro Bay who donated $1500 again this year, we simply couldn’t feed so many people.  We hope you will support these businesses as they have supported us.

  • Coast Capital Savings Cadboro Bay
  • B & C Food Distributors
  • Sofina Foods
  • Portofino Bread
  • Island Eggs
  • Cassels Murray Family and Estate Law
  • The Market Garden
  • Root Cellar
  • Canadian Tire
  • SaveOn Foods Pandora
  • Level Ground Trading
  • Black Bear Coffee
  • Bean Around the World
  • Fernwood Coffee
  • SaveOn Foods Westside Village
  • HandyDART
  • Coca-Cola
  • Yoka’s Coffee
  • Pet Planet
  • Fernwood Dental
  • Broad Theatrics

Finally, if you are thinking of buying or selling a property this year, realtor Morgan Baker is offering a “$500 donation to the Hamper Party when a commission is earned by Morgan Baker Realtor from either a selling or buying trading service for a “Hamper Party” client.”

Now rest up, lovely, generous friends.  Enjoy the blessings of the season knowing you’ve given hope and sustenance to so many.

Happy holidays!

Elves Joyce, Laura, James, Lisa, Dan, Val and Paul


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!