20th Community Christmas Hamper Campaign brings important changes

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Photo: Daniel Potter

Santa’s little helpers are decked out in red and green, preparing for the 20th Community Christmas Hamper Campaign which is now underway. In the photo are: Jessica Kelly-Rhéaume, Chantal Dubois, Kay Bergeron, Rev. Katherine Burgess, Suzie Faguay, Bill Donnelly, Susan Doucet, Chantal Lafrenière, Mary Thaler, Lindsay Jarjour, Ed Sweeney, Jean-Sébastien Gignac, Amy Bilodeau, Shirley Nadeau, Jan Anderson, and Andrée Lemieux.  

The Community Christmas Hamper Campaign (CCHC) is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. This year’s campaign, which runs from November 9 to December 13, will bring some important changes with it – changes to the campaign logo, posters, and even the assembly location. The campaign is also taking advantage of different ways to communicate with the public. One thing that won’t change, however, is the support offered by the CCHC to meet the ever-growing needs of the population. 

A successful campaign depends on the precious involvement of many volunteers.  Whether volunteers donate time or make donations, support from all members of the community is a crucial element in this campaign. Each year the hamper campaign assists over 200 households in need, thanks to generous donations received from private and corporate donors. The task at hand is an impressive one and just as impressive is the collaboration of the partners who make it happen. We require donations of dry and canned goods as well as financial donations to purchase the fresh food (fruit, vegetables, meats) we put in each hamper. 

New look for the campaign

Committee members agreed it was time to renew the logo and colour scheme for the campaign’s publicity. The traditional angel has retired and will be watching over the community from a distance. A box filled with food items, which more accurately represents the Hamper Campaign’s contribution to those in need, has replaced the angel. Past donors and volunteers will soon be receiving a Campaign reminder card in their mailbox. 

New location for hamper delivery week

As CEGEP St. Lawrence`s new Student Centre is currently under construction, the location for hamper delivery week has been changed. Eastern Québec Learning Centre is happy to share its premises with the CCHC for the assembling and distribution of the hampers (boxes) full of groceries. Many of the classrooms, the gymnasium and the cafeteria will be buzzing with activity in the days prior to distribution day as volunteers sort and pack food items that have been donated by the general public.

Saturday, December 19, is D-day, when volunteer drivers and helpers distribute the hampers. Anyone who would like to volunteer time to deliver hampers is asked to get in touch with Amy Bilodeau at 418 684-5333, ext. 1550. Community members in need of a hamper are asked to contact Jeffery Hale Community Services (418 684-5333, ext. 1350) before the November 23 deadline.

New communication tools

Social media will play an important role in spreading the word for recruiting volunteers, soliciting contributions and letting the public know that support is available. The CCHC Facebook page (www.facebook.com/CommunityChristmasHamperCampaign) and brand-new website (www.qchampers.ca/) will now inform everyone about the various activities associated with the campaign. Traditional media such as CBC Radio and the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph will continue to play a vital role in keeping the community informed.  

Revved up and ready to go, the Committee members are looking forward to another successful campaign! You are invited to join them and take part in this important community initiative.

Submitted by Susie Faguy on behalf of the 2015 Community Christmas Hamper Campaign Organizing Committee members whose names are listed with the above photo, plus: Dominique Bilodeau, Katarina Bjorcke, David Blinco, Hugh Fraser, Josianne Giroux, Annie Gilbert, Sylvie Piché, Heather McRae, Julie Slattery, Elizabeth Thomas, Brigitte Wellens, and Derek White, who were not present when the photo was taken.