Student Experience
Global Stewardship

Hamper Drive

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About the Hamper Drive

Since 1978, the annual Hamper Drive has been a significant and beloved tradition at St. George’s School. Organized by students, with support from faculty, staff, and our school community, more than 250 hampers are delivered to Vancouver families who are experiencing challenges. Hampers include food and household necessities and are designed to support these families through the difficult time over the Winter Break when school food programs are unavailable. Working with our partner schools and other community organizations in Vancouver, we endeavour to align the support we offer with the needs of their families. 
This is a special opportunity for our school community to come together and support the wider community. The Hamper Drive is not only a means of working for a cause that is bigger than us, but also an important learning opportunity for our students about community service and social responsibility. At the School, we will discuss issues around food scarcity, poverty, and the working poor. By working together to make a positive impact on our community, we are able to showcase our core values in a practical way.
Over the past few years, we had to get creative in the ways we met our goals. This meant a shift to providing grocery gift cards to give each family the ability to choose and purchase items that meet their needs and wants. Therefore, our first ask is for your financial support to ensure we have sufficient funds to purchase those gift cards. 

We Need Your Support

After two years of restrictions brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been able to evolve the Hamper Drive programming. We are excited that each homeroom (Junior School) and Advisory Group (Senior School) will once again be able to collect non-perishable food items and household necessities for the families assigned to them. We will also continue to provide families with grocery gift cards so they may make those additional purchases that suit their unique family needs. On Community Day (December 11th), the hampers and care packages will be assembled in preparation for delivery to our partner agencies during the week of December 12th.
Throughout November and December, there will be a variety of ancillary events at both the Junior and Senior Schools. We need your help to raise $50,000 so that we can purchase the grocery gift cards that accompany the hampers. We also encourage you to shop for non-perishable food items with your son and have a conversation about why this initiative is so important. 

There are many volunteer opportunities that you can sign up for, and you can also make a direct financial contribution to the Hamper Drive by visiting

How You Can Help

Make a Financial Contribution:

Each hamper costs upwards of $400 to produce, with the bulk of the cost coming from President’s Choice gift cards of $200 apiece. If you don’t feel that you are able to support the full cost of a hamper, any amount will help us reach our goal of supporting Vancouver families. Please note, we issue tax receipts for all gifts in excess of $25.


We are so excited to welcome our wider community into the School to help us package, verify, and deliver this year’s 260 hampers. A number of shifts are available on Sunday, December 11th and Monday, December 12th. You can sign up now for volunteer shifts to make holiday cards; assemble, verify, and deliver hampers; and more!
With your help, we can bring a little joy to those in need during the holiday season and truly make a difference.


Contact us at:

The History of the Hamper Drive

By Sandi Cobb — from The Saint, Summer 2013

Like many traditions, the Hamper Drive wasn’t born fully-formed and recognizable. It has evolved over three decades. It began as a Scouts project. Scouts have been a part of St. George’s from the School’s earliest days, but during the 70s, at a time when Scouting world-wide was at a low ebb, it paradoxically grew at St. George’s under some inspired leadership to two Cub packs, a Venturer company, and a Rover group which averaged 50 boys each year, all from Grades 11 and 12. It was some of these senior boys, with Geof “Daddy” Stancombe as Scout Master, who started the neighbourhood can drives, stacking and counting several hundred cans in the old cafeteria, packing boxes, and delivering them to 15 or 20 local families. The old cafeteria overlooked the Wallace gym, where cans are still stacked and counted for the Hamper Drive, but now in thousands rather than hundreds. Some of these early deliveries were made in a Mini, on a route that could consist only of right-hand turns, due to a mechanical (or driver) idiosyncrasy that has been lost to the mists of time. 

Over the 20 years that Daddy Stancombe guided the Hamper Drive, it grew from a neighbourhood can drive (continued today by the boarders of Harker Hall in their annual Reindeer Run) to the current remarkable operation that sees more than 300 families receive hampers each year. Geof’s vision was shared by John McDougall, who along with other Alumni developed a network of corporate support that added enormously to what could be achieved. Saints involvement still inspires the Hamper Drive tradition, as every year sees returning cohorts making boxes, staging, shipping, and delivering to families — always the most meaningful experience of the Hamper Drive.

Others have helped build the tradition: Saints families give generously to ensure every recipient family’s hamper is personalized with gift bags for parents, and toys, books, and gifts for the children. The combined passion and talents of Ed and Danette Mortimer ensured that the operation kept pace with Geof’s inexhaustible drive and energy; Ed’s mind-boggling organization of the production line and Danette’s compassionate management of the recipient families both involving oh-so-much-more than is ever seen on Hamper Drive day.

So with all that growth, it’s little wonder Memory Lane was commandeered as a last resort storage place (last resort because not every box always found its way down in time for Hamper Drive!) The first resort was Geof’s office, often so crammed with cans, boxes, and bags that he would have to borrow someone else’s desk and telephone to solicit donations from businesses and companies that, by the most tenuous connection, found themselves on Geof’s Hamper Drive Donors’ List — a list that was never allowed to get shorter, only longer. No company could ever claim to have “ceased trading”, no erstwhile Georgian connection “retired”; Geof would always take the opportunity to draw a new supporter into the Hamper Drive fold to fill the vacant spot, while the list got longer, the donations came in, Geof’s office overflowed. Even the portables (ah, the portables!) were filled until Saints families came again at the end of winter term to deliver it all.

Thousands of feet have shuffled behind boxes, thousands of arms have lifted, thousands of eyes have welled with tears, and thousands of hearts have been warmed in forging the Hamper Drive tradition. Long may it continue!
St. George’s School acknowledges that we are situated on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam First Nation.

Contributions to St. George's School Foundation are eligible for tax receipts as prescribed by Canadian law. St. George's School Foundation's Charitable Registration Number is: 11917-5511 RR0001.
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