It was a close call but now the excitement builds!

We were a little last minute getting out party invitations this year because we almost didn’t have a venue till St. Mary’s Church generously offered to host us in their space. The Canadian College of Performing Arts, which had hosted the party for the last few years, renovated their space and changed their scheduling which sent the Head Hamper Elves scurrying into frantic last minute action to find a new venue large enough to accommodate us.  Luckily, St. Mary’s is right next door to CCPA so party regulars will have no trouble finding us on party day!

New to our beloved holiday event and want to know what all the glorious fuss is about? Check out my November post for info on what to contribute to join in the fun.

Can’t wait to see you Sunday, December 17th!

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



Hamper Party Dec 17, 2017 – Save the Date

Mark your calendar. It’s Victoria’s 17th annual…Christmas Hamper party!

Sunday, December 17, 2017     1-4 pm

Location: St Mary’s Church, 1701 Elgin Rd, Victoria BC V8R 5L7

Oh baby, one of Victoria’s best holiday events is almost here!

Christmas Hamper Party, December 2011. Photo by Gary McKinstry

Photo by Gary McKinstry

New to the party? Returning elf?

Since 2001, our annual Christmas Hamper Party has lovingly created over 1550 fresh food hampers for the Salvation Army to donate to local families in need. Last year we filled 148 hamper 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 match our record of 158 hampers!

Come join us for a fun afternoon of holiday carols, generous community, light refreshments, and the true spirit of the season as we collectively pack our hampers with the beautiful food that our family, friends and supporters have collected. Let’s share our good fortune by feeding as many hungry families as we can! As is our tradition the bulging baskets will be ceremoniously loaded onto the Salvation Army trucks accompanied by live bagpipe music to fill your heart with the Christmas spirit.

Details about what and how to contribute to this year’s party.

There’s lots of info on this site to inspire you and show you what a great event a hamper party can be. Interested in hosting your own hamper event?

We look forward to seeing you at the party.

Joyce Kline and the Hamper Elves.

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

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











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”

Quick Post-party Update – 158 Hampers!


Our party yesterday was a giant success!  Records numbers of volunteers and donations poured in to create a staggering 158 hampers for needy families. We even made the evening news!

A full report, with photos and video, will follow soon, but we couldn’t wait to share the good news. We look forward to hearing more reports from the spinoff parties in Grimsby, Ontario; Nanaimo; San Diego, California; and Placerville, California!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this amazing manifestation of community spirit.

Stay tuned!