Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo

Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a space to operate.

The Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program, which has reached its 31st year, will operate this season upstairs at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.

“We’re thrilled to bits,” said Rob Phillips, who co-ordinates the program along with Annette Bowden. “We are just so blessed to have this space given to us. The city stepped up to the plate.”

This year’s goal is to fill about 450 hampers for families in need, and about 100 single hampers for one or two adults with no children.

Phillips said organizers are surprised at the lack of phone calls from people asking to be placed on the list to receive a hamper.

“Which is a shock, given what our economic situation is from the pandemic. We were expecting a lot more people. (But) We’re still optimistic that we’ll get the names coming in so we can satisfy those needs.”

Students from school districts 71 and 93 are again contributing in a big way to family sponsorships. They have already done 230 hampers.

“The schools have completely stepped up to the plate. We’re just thrilled,” Phillips said.

Volunteer drivers will deliver hampers on Dec. 22. Curbside pickup on delivery day is a safety measure this season, in keeping with a COVID safety plan.

The program still needs about 150 families to apply for hampers. It also needs sponsors for families and donations.

The program hotline is 250-334-4913.

Raffle tickets are on sale at Royal LePage, 121-750 Comox Rd. The draw date is Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. Call 250-334-4913. First prize is a weekend package to a resort in Tofino.

FMI: christmashamper.ca or email sharingthechristmaspirit1988@gmail.com