Student Experience
Global Stewardship

Hamper Drive

    • Hamper Banner

About The Hamper Drive

Since the 1970s, 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 as well as care packages with household necessities are delivered to Vancouver families who are experiencing challenges. Hampers include gift cards as well as food and toys. They are designed to support families through the difficult time over the Winter Break when many food support programs are unavailable. Working with our 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 larger community. The Hamper Drive not only allows us to contribute to a cause that is bigger than us, but also offers an important learning opportunity for our students about community service and social responsibility. At the School, we will discuss issues around food scarcity, socio-economic inequality, and the changing face of poverty. Above all, the Hamper Drive allows us to enact St. George’s Core Values in a meaningful, tangible, and significant way.

We Need Your Support

We partner with a variety of community organizations across Vancouver to align the support we offer to their needs of the diverse families they serve. Recently, this has meant a shift to providing gift cards, which enable families to purchase the exact items that meet their needs, from culturally-appropriate food staples to baby formula and diapers. Therefore, we ask especially for your financial support to ensure we can purchase those gift cards. Our goal is to raise $50,000 for this aspect of the drive.

As in past years, each homeroom (Junior School) and Advisory Group (Senior School) will collect household necessities for the families assigned to them. Junior School Homerooms will also be collecting food items. We encourage you to shop for the items requested with your son and discuss why this initiative is so important.

Over the next three weeks, there will be a variety of events at both the Junior and Senior Schools, allowing all St. George’s students to engage in and learn from this experience. Finally, on Community Day held on Sunday, December 10th, the hampers and care packages will be assembled in preparation for delivery to our partner agencies on December 11th. In order for the assembly and delivery process to succeed, we are also seeking parent volunteers to help out on one or both of those days.

How You Can Help

Make A Financial Contribution

Each hamper costs at least $400 to produce, with the bulk of the cost coming from President’s Choice gift cards. A hamper for a family of three includes $300 of gift cards as well as a variety of household goods. That said, any amount will help us reach our goal to support Vancouver families. Please also note that we issue tax receipts for all gifts in excess of $25.


Every year for two joyful days, we welcome members of the St. George’s community into the School to help us package, verify, and deliver more than 260 hampers. A range of shifts will be available on Sunday, December 10th and Monday, December 11th. To sign-up for to volunteer at the Junior School, please click the button below.

Please note at that all volunteer shifts at the Senior School campus have been filled. 


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.
©2021 St. George’s School. All Rights Reserved