Thanksgiving hampers bring smiles to Victoria health-care workers

Melanie Cyr, interim site director at the Royal jubilee Hospital, receives a Thanksgiving hamper from Chris Jones of Jones BBQ.

With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation and its donors found a way to say thank you to hospital workers across the city for all their hard work during the pandemic.

On Friday, 200 gratitude hampers were delivered to health-care teams and departments at the Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road hospitals.

Nearly $17,000 has been raised so far to pay for the project; the goal is $20,000.

The hampers contain everything from fresh fruit, produce and baked goods to jams, jerky and cold brew coffee.

The hospitals foundation partnered with Jones BBQ and Islands West Produce to get the initiative off the ground.

“We all know COVID has placed an incredibly big stress on our system and it’s been incredibly stressful locally here as well,” says Avery Brohman, the executive director of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation.

“So knowing we can just bring a smile to their face, that’s truly what we want to accomplish today, and I think we can do that because of our generous community.”

One of the hamper recipients at the Royal Jubilee Hospital told CTV News Vancouver Island she was grateful for the kind gesture.

“The gifts from our community to give back is just something that brings joy to everybody,” says Melanie Cyr, interim site director at the hospital.

“It lifts the spirit and helps people have the energy to continue on.”

Donor Barb McKerrell says her family has been supporting the Victoria Hospitals Foundation for a long time, but this cause was different.

“I thought it was really important that it included all of the hospital people and the pandemic isn’t over, so it’s really important that we continue to support all of the hospital teams, they are there for us day and night,” McKerrell says.

To donate to the hamper fund or learn more about the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, go to their website