Christmas Hamper Party 2008 can only be described as awe-inspiring. As you all know, record breaking bad weather conditions forced Victoria to a virtual standstill. By the time Hamper Party rolled around, every Christmas party Peter and I had planned to attend over the holiday season had already been cancelled due to the snow and icy roads.
On the Saturday before the party, many party stalwarts dropped off food items in case they were snowed in on party day (Sunday). By Saturday night, 103 liters of milk, 18 turkeys and cartons of non-perishables and potatoes were in the cold pantry and piled up on our counters. We began to panic—what if no one showed up?
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, we sent out an email call for help to everyone on the hamper party invitation list. With the downturn in the economy, we knew charitable donations were down everywhere and the demand for hampers was way up. We had hoped for 50 or more hampers; with the weather conditions against us, perhaps enough people would show up for us to at least make 25.
It was truly inspirational to see the lengths to which people went to contribute. They came by bus and on foot through the snow; they spent 5 hours shovelling themselves out of snow banks to arrive at the crucial last hour; they came bearing the turkeys they’d promised to bring and then stomped out through the snow a second time to buy more birds when we realized we had the fixings for more hampers.
If you’ve scanned this far hoping to read our final count, the suspense must be killing you! So, imagine a trumpet fanfare as we announce that, in spite of the weather, this year’s party managed to put together an unprecedented, all time record breaking 78 hampers plus a cash donation to the Salvation Army, several additional cartons of veggies, a couple of huge leaf bags of bread, and a monster turkey that arrived on the day after the party.
There were many new faces this year and many new contributors. Special thanks to Cobbs Bread, Island Farms, Stage Wine Bar, Oak Bay Home Hardware, and Galey Farms.
So Merry Christmas, fellow “Hamper Partiers”! You deserve it. You helped make so many families happy this year. We wish you Happy Holidays and a fantastic New Year
Joyce & Peter
P.S. Someone left behind a metal tray and a pair of black fleece gloves.