Goodwill from Community Hamper Contributions Flows into 2009

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Hamper Loading Dock Dec 20.jpg
Photo: J. Anderson-Toupin

Loading dock team loading hampers into cars of volunteer drivers who delivered holiday cheer to those in need just in time for Christmas 2008.

The members of the 13th annual Community Christmas Hamper Campaign Committee would like to express their deep gratitude to community members for their ongoing support and enthusiastic participation in what is truly a community holiday celebration of collective goodwill. Thank you for helping us to reach our financial goal of $20,000.

Your generosity also shone through in the higher volume of non-perishable items donated this year. We nearly doubled the amount of canned goods collected from our local English schools compared to previous years. Outstanding! Some schools were particularly ingenious in their fundraising strategies. For example, Principal Warren Thomson at Quebec High School actually spent a night sleeping in a box (like a homeless person might) to raise awareness of the problems related to poverty and hunger. The school collected $800 as a result. Visit www.quebechighschool.net to see pictures.

The folks at the Eastern Québec Learning Centre once again open their doors and invited the community to attend their annual International Lunch and fundraiser. Not only did they feed us, they also serenaded the hungry throng awaiting entry! This year's buffet was so well attended that overflow guests were seated in the library. The luncheon contributed another $900 to the campaign.

Thanks to all of our English-speaking churches and institutions for their charitable contributions of non-perishables and substantial monetary donations. St. Patrick's Catholic Women's League alone raised $800 for the cause and funds poured in from many other local congregations as well. The staff at Jeffery Hale Community Services outdid themselves this year. They contributed over 20 bags of groceries and raised $1, 700 in donations from a spaghetti luncheon, auction, bake sale and an oil painting raffle.

The Saint Brigid' Home Foundation donated numerous turkeys and our friends at the American Consulate provided a truckload of chocolates and holiday candies. Let's not forget to mention the very generous annual contribution we receive from the endowment contributed in years past by the congregation of St. Stephen's and St. Vincent's. Special thanks to all these community angels, especially those who chose to give anonymously. Bless you all!

We would also like to express our gratitude to the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph publisher, Pierre Little and his hardworking staff for reporting on the campaign and gratuitously publishing the names of our generous donors. The QCT helps to keep the community informed and most definitely boosted monetary contributions.

Thanks as well to Voice of English-speaking Québec for drafting, printing and helping distribute this year's angel-theme publicity materials and for also volunteering staff time to help prepare and deliver hampers.

We owe the CEGEP Champlain-St. Lawrence a debt of gratitude for their unfailing support. Each year they let us move in and assemble hampers on-site. The student council helps recruit CEGEP volunteers; the cafeteria personnel allow us to invade their coolers and freezers and the staff ensure we have everything we need to do our job.

Over 260 volunteers contributed time and energy to this year's campaign. They worked side by side picking up, sorting, and counting food donations. Others prepared boxes, lugged food deliveries, packed hampers, loaded them into cars and delivered them to those in need across the city. It was indeed heart warming to see how the community rallied together to spread cheer and joy!

This year 222 families benefited from our hamper campaign. We received many confidential notes of thanks in return. One recipient said it best, "My family and I wanted to express our gratitude over the generosity of so many. Having received a Christmas Hamper left us tear-stained and speechless, not forgetting to mention grateful. Thanks so very much!"