VIDEO: A host of enthusiastic volunteers turn out for Lake Cowichan’s Christmas ‘hamper day’

Hamper-filling day at Lake Cowichan works like clockword as big group of loyal volunteers know the drill. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Hamper-filling day at Lake Cowichan works like clockword as big group of loyal volunteers know the drill. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Every hamper includes a list and volunteers then push their buggies around Centennial Hall to fill the boxes. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Every hamper includes a list and volunteers then push their buggies around Centennial Hall to fill the boxes. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
As the shopping carts go by, like a merry-go-round, the volunteers at each station must make sure the hampers are filled correctly. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)As the shopping carts go by, like a merry-go-round, the volunteers at each station must make sure the hampers are filled correctly. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Volunteer ‘shoppers’ fill the hampers, making their way around the various food stations at Centennial Hall as they check items off their lists. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Volunteer ‘shoppers’ fill the hampers, making their way around the various food stations at Centennial Hall as they check items off their lists. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Everywhere you look at Centennial Hall on hamper day (Dec. 18), there are volunteers working to fill the boxes that will go to the less fortunate to help out with Christmas. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Everywhere you look at Centennial Hall on hamper day (Dec. 18), there are volunteers working to fill the boxes that will go to the less fortunate to help out with Christmas. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Gerrie Knott, left, and Sally Miles are just two of the longtime Lake Cowichan residents who love to make hamper filling day part of their Christmas tradition. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Gerrie Knott, left, and Sally Miles are just two of the longtime Lake Cowichan residents who love to make hamper filling day part of their Christmas tradition. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)
Cowichan Lake steps up to help the less fortunate Dec. 18 and Centennial Hall is filled with the happy sound of carols and friends chatting as they volunteer for the annual hamper day, making their way around the hall, filing shopping carts from the huge amount of food donated by the community. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)Cowichan Lake steps up to help the less fortunate Dec. 18 and Centennial Hall is filled with the happy sound of carols and friends chatting as they volunteer for the annual hamper day, making their way around the hall, filing shopping carts from the huge amount of food donated by the community. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

The happy sounds of holiday carols and chatting friends filled Lake Cowichan’s Centennial Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 18 as the community gathered to fill hampers for the less fortunate.

This long-running event is well-organized and runs like clockwork, with everyone sorting and checking the non-perishable food first, then placing it at stations around the hall. Once that’s all done, volunteers take shopping carts, pick up boxes and lists and go around the room filling the hampers and checking each item off the list as it’s picked up.

The whole thing operates like a happy merry-go-round, works smoothly and gets the job done very quickly.

Once the hampers are filled and tagged, everyone troops downstairs for a lunch prepared by the Mayor and Council.

All the fresh food and produce is put in the hampers the following day, just before they are picked up.

Donations of cash, food, and toys have been flowing in for weeks for this event, which proves yet again that Cowichan Lakers are always ready to help out.

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