The Gazette Hamper Fund has our name prominently in the title. But providing 550+ Christmas hampers of food and toys to needy North Island families and individuals is not something our tiny staff could possibly manage on its own.
From the year-round efforts of some regular donors, like the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations social club, to the last-minute boost of individuals like Denny Seto, who provided more than 1,000 food items last week, for 33 years the Hamper Fund has been a community effort.
Oh, we have our occasional Grinch. The countertop Hamper cup at Timberland Sports in Port McNeill was recently relieved of its coins, and other tins in previous years have been stolen. Needy? Let us know. Greedy? Lame move.
But that behaviour is simply the exception that proves the rule.
North Islanders are a somewhat far-flung group, comprising the three “Port” communities, outer islands and various rural neighbourhoods on and off the highway system. Collectively, however, we seem to recognize the basic need to work together to benefit each other, separated as we are from the more populous and, presumably, better-connected, areas of our province.
Whether you drop a can or two of food into a bin at a North Island Eagles hockey game, contribute a bicycle won in a convenience store raffle, or combine with co-workers to raise more than a thousand dollars to the cause, you are the Hamper Fund.
As long as that remains the case, we’ll be here to support your efforts.
You’ve done it again, North Islanders. Thank you.