What is the Christmas Hamper Program?
Each December, Kitchener and Waterloo families living on low-income receive support to get items for a seasonal family meal. This year, due to Covid-19, in place of a food hamper, House of Friendship, with the community’s help, will give families a turkey and a gift card, enabling them to purchase the food of their choice for their Christmas dinner.
Please give generously as you can to give a holiday meal to as many families and individuals as possible. Your gift allows House of Friendship to provide the Christmas Food Program to thousands of individuals and families in December! This year, caring community members will provide turkeys and food to 4,000 households over the holiday season. With your help, over 13,000 people will receive support!
A Couple of Christmas Hamper Stories
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Marlene O’Brien wasn’t even alive when her parents received a Christmas food hamper during a challenging season for her family. Her father was unable to work due to a serious injury, and was finding it challenging to put food on the table.
Although she wasn’t born yet, Marlene knows the story well because it has become a treasured family memory, one that has been passed down through the generations. The impact of this special gift, made by someone who took the time to care, continues to this day.
Marlene volunteers daily with House of Friendship’s annual Christmas Hamper program every December, and her family’s tradition is support those in need because of that gift so many years ago.
“You don’t know the impact you are having when you give,” said Marlene. “Your gift can be the gift that keeps on giving through future generations. It goes well beyond Christmas. Thank you!”
The Christmas Hamper program would not be possible without the support of the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Club and its annual Rotary Turkey Drive, which provides more than $300,000 annually towards the cost of hampers and turkeys for local families and individuals in need.
I’m Just So Thankful
For Doug, being able to get food from House of Friendship’s Emergency Food Hampers program has helped him make ends meet as a single father. It makes that much more of a difference during the holiday season.
“If it wasn’t for the Christmas Hampers, I wouldn’t have been able to celebrate Christmas with my daughter,” said Doug, who lost his job at Schneider’s and has been unable to find work since.
“It’s all about Sarah. I just want something there for her under the tree, and the turkey and Christmas Hamper makes it possible for me to do that. She’s such a good kid, and she deserves that.“
Doug volunteered at last year’s Turkey Trucks, supporting other families in need during the holiday season. He wanted to be able to give back to something that has meant so much to him.
Why Am I Staying Up 25 Hours?
Hi, my name is William Wallace. The easy answer to that question is that I want to give back. The honest answer is a little more complicated.
I have always loved Christmas music. I love the various versions of common tunes that artists from A to Z have performed. Christmas music allows for that comparison. I have over 200 Xmas albums, CDs, and tunes on my iPod (over 1700 digital!). During Christmas, this collection hardly gets its due. This was one way to get my collection ‘out there’. So be ready for an eclectic mix, from Jimi Hendrix doing Little Drummer Boy to an incredible mash-up of Gloria In Excelsis Deo and Van Morrison’s Gloria! (I’ll even be breaking out the Beatles Xmas 45s!!)
But my major reason for doing this is that I have. Have what? A roof over my head, and food on the table. And there are too many people in this region, especially with the ongoing onslaught of Covid, that have not. This is my small way to make – I hope – a BIG difference.
The businesses and individuals below contributed hourly sponsorship monies, donations in kind or assistance in some way to this endeavor. Click on the logos to go to their respective businesses and show them your love. In these times, we all need a helping hand.