The last Saturday before Christmas is always a busy one for Campbell Riverites looking to give back to the community.
The Knights of Columbus hold their annual holiday hamper drive, where volunteers deliver hampers full of food to members of the community in need of a bit of extra support. By 10:30 on Saturday, around 800 hampers had left the old Target building in downtown Campbell River bound for local families. A line of cars stretched around the building, and volunteers said they estimated around 1,050 hampers were heading out that day.
Also in the downtown area is the annual Campbell River Rotary Children’s March, where Rotary members stand at intersections downtown bringing in donations from drivers and pedestrians. Rotarian Ian Baikie was at the intersection of Island Highway and Shoppers Row ensuring members were safe in the streets and collecting money when the individual buckets became too full.
“People have been very generous,” Baikie said. “We’ve had a lot of donations and everyone’s very cheerful and happy to help with the raising of money for the Hospital’s Children’s foundation.”
This year, the Rotary added a new drive-up system at Ken Forde park. Similar to the Emergency Services toy drive earlier in the month, it gives people a chance to pull off the road and donate rather than just leaning out of their car windows.
“We don’t know what to expect with COVID, but last year we did $18,000. In recent years, we’ve had as little as $10,000, but we’re happy with whatever happens here today,” Baikie said. “We’re actually buying an ultrasound for the maternity ward this year.”
Both groups were out for most of the day Saturday, which is turning out to be one of the best days for giving back in the whole year.
“It’s a nice way to spend the Saturday before Christmas,” Baikie said.