Hamper Program Disappointment
I, like many in Edmonton participate in the hamper program every year. No, I do not get one, but me and my family go grocery shopping and gift shopping for other families.
This year, we did three hampers instead of two, as the family sizes were slightly smaller.
One single mom with two kids
One single dad with two kids
One two parent family with two kids
We aren’t required to buy for the parents, but we do anyways.
We budgeted $250 per family, and got all of the fixings for a great Christmas dinner, snacks, dessert and gifts for everyone on the list. My kids helped pick out gifts and loved shopping for other kids. It was such a great experience and we were so thrilled, as always, to partake.
Fast forward to Saturday morning. After arriving at the Expo Center to gather the turkeys and co-ordinate the deliveries, we piled into our van excited to meet some new people.
House 1: Didn’t bother to answer their phone or text messages upon our arrival. We banged on the door for a little while, sat out front and waited for a call back, and eventually decided to move on to the second family and try again later.
House 2: Nobody answered our calls, so we just went to knock. We were greeted by a massive snarling dog on a chain and unkempt woman smoking cigarettes and blowing the smoke in our faces, as she cracked the door open and said “what do you want”. We told her we were here to deliver her Christmas Hamper, and she replied “Oh. Just leave it on the step”.
So, we did. As we were pulling away we saw her pull the boxes and bags inside and shut the door behind her.
House 3: Again, nobody was answering the phone numbers provided or returning our texts, so we just went to knock. When the door opened we immediately were punched in the face by the smell of cigarettes and could see empty beer cans and bottles everywhere. We were invited in, at least, which was nice so we carried the items inside. That’s when the kids ran in, they were the same ages as my boys. They ran straight past us, and my sons who had excitedly said hello and to the large bags containing the wrapped gifts and started shaking everything and made comments about “probably getting crap”. My youngest son was actually the only one brave enough (and rude enough, frankly) to tell them that they picked out gifts and they were really cool and that christmas isn’t about the presents, anyways. Bless him and his big mouth. After getting scowled at, we excused ourselves, wished them a Merry Christmas and left.
Back to House 1: Tried calling several more times, voicemail is now full. Returned to the house, and this time the front door was open leaving only the glass/screen door closed. They must be home now, so we went and knocked. After some yelling about “whos going to answer the f**king door” and “who the f**k is it” one of the kids came to the door. She clearly knew what we were there for, and smiled and said hello and opened the door and welcomed us inside. She was so polite – she called for his parents and brother to come as we started to unload from the van. We had carried all of the parcels inside before we saw the parents, who then informed us that “we were late” and that they were “expecting us earlier” and that we “inconvenienced them”. We were also informed that “us white people don’t give a sh”t” about anyone but ourselves and we “had better have put good stuff in the boxes”.
This time, I covered my sons mouth and walked out without wishing anyone a Merry Christmas.
Now, I know that telling you all this isn’t going to change anything. I know, that there are many families out there that were gracious, kind, thankful and polite on delivery day. I know that these people are the exception, not the rule.. However, I am still disgusted in what we witnessed this year.
ALL of the families were clearly, heavy smokers. At least one of the families had visible alcohol bottles on the premises. We were shut out, insulted, not thanked and even shamed for being white!
Next year, we will still participate. HOWEVER, be warned – If we show up to your door and you are anything like these ungrateful wastes of oxygen we will turn around and take our boxes with us.