2011 Christmas Hamper program a huge success

By David F. Rooney

This has been a pretty good Christmas for the Community Connections Food Bank and its Christmas Hamper program. In the month-long run-up to Christmas it has received about 5,000 lbs of found and $25,000 in cash as well as hundreds of toys, articles of clothing and winter wear and other items.

“We’ve had lot of participation from businesses and individuals,” Patti Larson, the agency’s outreach services manager said Thursday. “And the quality of stuff we received has improved 100 per cent from when we started 11 years ago.”

Although public participation in last year’s Christmas Hamper program was muted, this year’s response was tremendous.

The Christmas Hamper program resulted in special hampers for 200 local families and special seasonal efforts the CIBC Angel Tree resulted in gifts for children in 50-60 families. Innovative business programs, such as the gift bags available at Cooper’s resulted in 125 bags to local people, have also been a huge help, she said.

What’s especially impressive is the way the “new people in town” have taken the program to heart, Larson said.

“The new demographic — the new people in town — have been very impressive,” he said. “One family came in to make a donation in lieu of giving their children’s teachers Christmas gifts and one young woman held a bake sale and raised $500 for us.

“This is huge… (and) it shows people are listening when we say we need particular kinds of things. Thank you Revelstoke!”