Congratulations Kitimat for your ongoing generosity and support of the 2019 Christmas Hamper Appeal – thanks to you all we did very well.
We would like to thank so many of our volunteers, community businesses, individuals, schools and churches. Special thanks to:
* Kyle’s No Frills and Save-On-Foods who support us throughout the year but especially at Christmas
* Envision Financial who sponsor us all year with their Full Cupboard program and tree at Christmas
* Kitimat Insurance (Henning Sharing Tree)
* Bandstra (donation of boxes)
* Christ the King Church (use of their hall during “hamper” week)
* The District of Kitimat
* Snow Valley Skating Club (four buggies of food from their Christmas gala)
* Kitimat Demons
* JFJV (40 boxes of gifts, food & gift cards)
* Ellis Ross (Skate with MLA)
* Colony Construction (skid of gifts & food)
* 7 Tables
* Mr. Mikes
* St. Anthony’s School, MEMSS, KCH, Nechako and Kildala Schools
* Marks Work Warehouse
* Rio Tinto, Unifor, Hatch
* Legion Ladies Dart Club
* and all our volunteers who do such a fantastic job managing the Food Bank throughout the year.
Apologies for anyone that we missed out on thanking – there are so many!
Final donations include: Kitimat Ladies Dart League (gift cards) $375; J&D Stewart $200; Envision Financial Full Cupboard Program $805.63; D Stenson $20; E Cloakey $200-; R Watt $125; S Blackman $25; Unifor Local 2301 $8,232.03; Canadian Tire Corporation Toronto $1000; Canadian Tire Terrace (J.B. Gascon) $1000; C Watchorn $150; C Groves $100; L Morgan $20; P.A.C. $40; Houle Electric $451.60; Kitimat Insurance Agencies $40; Rio Tinto $10,000; Fusion Eyecare Inc. $100; First United Church $75; D Rowsell $50; Anonymous $155; L Larose $1000; and R Krikan $100.
The final tally was a massive $41,772.62, which helped us fill 288 hampers for the 2019 Hamper Appeal and allows us to operate through 2020.
Over the years people have asked how the Hamper Appeal works and we thought we would provide a brief explanation:
The Christmas Hamper program has been running for over 50 years, first under the Kitimat Help Agency, becoming the Kitimat Food Bank Agency several years later.
In November applications for hampers are collected by recipients at the Food Bank, Food Share and Social Services. The applications are processed into the computer.
The applications are simple and all are accepted – we check for correct addresses, phone numbers and ensure there are no duplicates which sometimes happens.
Most of our food and monitory donations come in December through organized food drives, community businesses, organizations, churches, schools, unions, industry and, of course, individual citizens. We rely on volunteers to run the Food Bank and the Christmas hampers are no exception.
Food and gift donations are either taken directly to the Catholic Church hall or moved up from the Food Bank during Hamper Week. We purchase necessary items from Kyle’s No Frills and Save-On-Foods.
Throughout Hamper Week food items are sorted by type and set up on long tables; gifts are sorted and wrapped by a Gift Committee – gifts are sorted by gender and age. Hampers include the makings of a Christmas dinner, including a monitory gift certificate to purchase a turkey, ham or whatever, as well as gifts for all children.
On the Friday of Hamper Week a host of volunteers descend on the Catholic Hall to fill hampers according to size (small, medium and large), truly a sight to behold. Anyone who has been present or participated in the hamper creation process will never forget it and many of these volunteers help out every year.
The completed hampers are organized in routes of approximately 10 to 12 streets. The final step requires volunteers with vehicles to help deliver the hampers to recipients.
We never know how many volunteer drivers will show up until they are actually there but they have always managed, or attempt to manage, delivery to all recipients. Most hampers are delivered with no issue but sometimes a recipient is not home to sign for the hamper so it is returned by the driver to the Food Bank.
Delivery complete, 35 hampers were returned by the volunteers – of these all but 14 were collected by the recipients. Undelivered hampers that are not picked up are dismantled and food items put back on the shelves after Christmas.
We are grateful to all our volunteers and for the generosity of Kitimatians – you all work from your hearts. Thanks to you, we are able to help many families enjoy Christmas a bit more.
Last, but not least, our deepest thanks to the media for their ongoing support throughout the year but especially at Christmas – you help make this Christmas Hamper Appeal the success it has become.
A special thank you to our marvellous executive members who work diligently all year to keep the organization in hand. Once again thank you all and may 2020 bring you all good health and happiness.