Volunteers from across the North Island came together on Sunday Dec.17 to deliver the majority of the Gazette Christmas Hampers for the 37th Annual Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund delivery day.
“Port Hardy hamper deliveries went quite smoothly on Sunday thanks to Save On Foods, Lions members, Hamper Fund board members and volunteers preparing the hampers and having them ready for those that helped deliver,” said Gazette Hamper Fund President Sandy Grenier.
Brian Welchman and Roland Shanks started the Gazette Hamper Fund in 1980 where nearly $3,000 was raised so more than two dozen families could enjoy a better Christmas.
Now 37 years later, the Gazette Hamper Fund is delivering nearly 600 hampers throughout the North Island. That includes buying, wrapping, and delivering christmas gifts for more than 400 children in Port Hardy, alone.
Although the Gazette’s Hamper Funds financial goal has remained constant over the years at $30,000 the need has been increasing as well as the price of food. The goal this year was increased to $40,000 to cover the bills.
“Our financial goal still sits at $40,000 for 600 hampers and I’m thrilled that we are sitting just over $30,000 but we are still needing to raise another $10,000 before January to pay all the bills,”said Grenier.
“The North Island businesses and individuals always do an incredible job donating to this great cause but I hope that we can bring in the remainder of the funds that we need to cover for the 2017 hampers,” said Grenier, adding “If we don’t meet the goal this year we will have to sit down and logistically come up with a different plan for 2018.”
Although the Hamper deliveries are wrapping up for the year, the Gazette Hamper Fund is still welcoming donations, both at the Gazette office on #3-7053 Market Street in Port Hardy (P.O. Box 458) as well as online at www.blackpress4good.com.
Those that have missed their hamper because they weren’t home during delivery day can pick up a voucher on Monday Dec. 18 at the Gazette office. That voucher will allow them to pick up a hamper from Save-On-Foods in Port Hardy.
Deliveries still that need to me made include Port Alice where Hampers will be delivered on Friday Dec. 22, Kingcome on Tuesday Dec. 19 (the boat leaves the Port McNeil dock at 8:45 am), and Gilford on Thursday Dec. 21. (The boat will leave the Port McNeill dock at 2:00 pm).