The 2020 Richmond Christmas Fund campaign kicked off on Friday with the announcement that the annual auction will be moved online due to the pandemic, with bidding starting at the end of November.
The Christmas Fund served almost 3,000 people last year in Richmond, including 890 children, 337 youth and 360 seniors, a 22 per cent increase compared with the year before.
But the economic hardship caused by COVID-19 means more families than ever will be relying on the fund this year, according to Ed Gavsie, president and CEO of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG).
Not So Silent Night, dubbed this year “A Not So Isolated Night 2020,” will take place through two online auctions – one public and one private. The public auction will be open for five days at the end of November.
Participants will be given a Zoom code to the private auction, which will be held on Dec. 2 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Although some minor changes are made to the annual auction, the sixth annual Richmond RCMP Toy Drive is still going to take place on Nov. 21 outdoors at Lansdowne Centre.
Meanwhile, the 10th Annual Christmas Fund Drive-Thru will be held at the Brighouse Fire Hall on Dec. 1, encouraging people to drive through the fire hall to donate cash or toys. The City of Richmond also donated over 100 bikes. All toys will be sanitized before being given out to families.
To encourage more people to become donors this year, seven local politicians, who are also named as honorary advisors, agreed to lend their social media channels voices to support the Christmas Fund, said Wayne Duzita, co-chair of Richmond Christmas Fund.
They include Mayor Malcolm Brodie, Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu, Richmond-Queensborough MLA Jas Johal, Richmond North Centre MLA Teresa Wat, Richmond Centre MP Alice Wong, Richmond -Steveston John Yap and Richmond South Centre Linda Reid.
Duzita added that they are still looking for about 20 more auction items valued between $50 and $200.
For more information about the Richmond Christmas Fund, visit: https://rcrg.org/Donate#richmondChristmasFund.
-- With files from Valerie Leung