Community Christmas Hamper Campaign delivers the goods

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Photo: Shirley Nadeau

These same six dedicated Canada Post employees have been delivering hampers for many years. Santa really appreciates all their help.

After months of meetings, weeks of recruiting volunteers and collecting food and monetary donations, plus days of sorting and packing, members of the English-speaking community of the Quebec City area delivered Christmas hampers (boxes of groceries and vouchers) to 205 households on Dec. 15. 

Great volunteers ensure smooth delivery of Christmas hampers.

Once again this year, members of the English-speaking community rallied to the call for volunteers to help with the sorting, packing and delivering of hundreds of boxes filled to the brim with delicious foodstuffs to families in need in the Quebec City area. 

In a marathon of organization, the members of the campaign committee truly gave it their all this year, with amazing results. Many people, including families with young children, will be able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and enough food to get them through the holidays. 

Some recipients cried with delight when they saw the amount and variety of foods that were delivered to their door. One cute little boy actually patted the big frozen turkey, and laughed when told he had to be sure to share it with others in his family. It wasn’t all for him! 

Volunteers from Canada Post came with three large delivery trucks to take sets of boxes to outlying homes. UPS provided two trucks and Mercedes-Benz, one, along with volunteer drivers and helpers.  

Santa Claus and Derek White helped direct traffic at the loading dock in front of the Eastern Quebec Learning Centre as other volunteer drivers arrived with their cars and vans to help deliver the goods. 

So many wonderful people came together to help make sure things ran smoothly, too many to name here, but a few deserve special mention: Susan Doucet and her husband Bert, and Bill “the Box Man” Donnelly, who have been with the organization for as long as it has existed, it seems; Richard Walling (a.k.a. “Santa”), Amy Bilodeau (co-ordinator of volunteers), Ellie Fleming, Michèle Provencher and Jean-Sébastien Jolin-Gignac of Jeffery Hale Community Partners, our media spokesperson Brigitte Wellens of Voice of English-speaking Québec, and Susie Faguy, principal of the Eastern Quebec Learning Centre (she lets us “invade” her school every year).   

As chair of the campaign committee, I wish to thank everyone who was involved from the various churches, schools, and organizations, and everyone who donated their time and/or money and/or non-perishable foods to this worthy cause. 

In spite of all our efforts, we did not reach our fundraising goal before last weekend, but the good news is, there is still time to give! Please visit qchampers.ca to see how you can help. 

Here are a few photos of the action-packed Saturday D(elivery)-Day, just to show you how busy all the volunteers were. 
 
 
First, all the bags of donated non-perishable food had to be carefully sorted.  
 
What sort of people are these? Food sorters, that’s what!  
 
More sorters then had to count and figure out how many cans or boxes of each donated item would go in each set of boxes.  
 
After being carefully packed, (don’t drop the box with the eggs in it!), sets of hamper boxes were transported outside to be loaded into Canada Post vans. Other drivers and vans from UPS and Mercedes-Benz also delivered the goods. The colourful bags on the right contain frozen meats, including a chicken (for small families or individuals) or a turkey (for larger families).  
 
Once all the large vans are loaded and on their way, other drivers get their instructions and usually two sets of hampers each to deliver. Hands up if you’re having fun! Tim Hortons provided gallons of coffee and Timbits to keep volunteers happy as they wait in the Eastern Quebec Learning Centre cafeteria.
 
Volunteer driver Ronald Roberge was wearing one of the best Christmas sweaters. He’s real, all right! A real good volunteer!