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In 2003, an Edmonton teacher and JCI Edmonton member brought the idea of the Holiday Hamper Program to JCI Edmonton. In her role as a social worker in the school, she saw first-hand how her students and their families struggled throughout the year, especially through the holiday season. Her goal was ultimately to make their Holiday Seasons a little brighter by providing the families with healthy meals and ensuring that the kids had gifts to open. She identified how necessary a program like this was for bringing joy to kids and their families during this special time of year, and thus a tradition was born!

Since 2003, this program has grown exponentially and has become a cornerstone of Edmonton's philanthropic community, during the holiday season. The program started with 13 families and 1 school and over a decade later, JCI Edmonton and 24 partner schools help provide Christmas meals and presents to over 850 families in Edmonton. This year, the program looks set to help1,000 families and will continue to grow from there! This would not have been possible without the support of every day generous Edmontonians!

The Holiday Hamper Program has been creating positive change in our community for over 15 years. Local Edmontonians and JCI Edmonton members become Hamper Elves by "adopting" families. Elves go shopping for their assigned families, based on the Holiday Hamper Program Grocery List, for healthy food items and small presents for the kids (under $20).

On Delivery Day, elves meet with JCI Edmonton volunteers and receive turkeys, roasting pans, fresh produce, and their families' addresses. The Elves then hand deliver the hampers to their assigned families. The magic really happens when Elves meet their families and hearts are filled with the joy of giving and community.

The Hamper Program is now supporting 900+ families and growing year over year. Whether it be your individual family or your corporate office; JCI Edmonton is always looking for more Elves, and day-of volunteers to make an even greater impact – interested?! Check out