Knights press on through pandemic to make hampers
The pandemic isn’t slowing down the Knights of Columbus Christmas hamper project in Oliver.
In fact, it has spurred members on to work through the challenges of putting extra food on tables during the holiday season.
This is the 49thyear that the Knights have organized the hamper campaign in Canada’s Wine Capital. And while 16-year veteran Wayne Danbrook may be running out of steam, the thought of helping a family during rough times is all he needs to fill up his tank again.
“We try to help people get through the holidays,” the co-chair said, noting they expect to hand out another 200-plus hampers this year.
That’s a far cry from the 12 they distributed in the first year.
Of course, this season will be a lot more challenging with COVID-19.
“We’re pressing ahead with more caution,” Danbrook said.
The Knights are asking everyone to wear a mask and adhere to social distancing rules on distribution day on Saturday, Dec. 19 at Christ the King Catholic Church.
Registered clients with a slip from the Oliver Food Bank can pick up their hamper starting at 8 a.m. They are hoping for good weather so that people don’t have to line up inside the church. But if the pandemic worsens, volunteers will have to bring the hampers to people in the parking lot, Danbrook said.
“We’re trying to be as safe as we can for our own members.”
Interior Health is slated to pick up hampers for its clients on Friday, Dec. 18, which will reduce some of the congestion.
Unfortunately, the Knights won’t be offering coffee and donuts on Dec. 19, but children can pick out a toy from the toy table.
Danbrook said he’s not sure what the community’s generosity level will be this year, but he anticipates it will be adequate because donations (money and food) are still coming in.
Food collection boxes have been placed in various businesses, including the Times-Chronicle, which is distributing its “Tummy Bags” in the Nov. 25 paper.
Once again, local schools are participating by collecting non-perishable food items from students.
To make a monetary donation to help buy food for a hamper, people are asked to make cheques payable to Knights of Columbus/Hamper Project at Box 343, Oliver, BC, V0H 1T0.