Each year, the Richmond Christmas Fund assists individuals and families who lack the financial means to celebrate the holidays.
Last year, more than 2,100 families came forward for help before Christmas, up 25 per cent from the previous year.
The 2018 edition of the program is scheduled to run over four consecutive Saturdays, beginning Nov. 24 and concluding Dec. 15.
Operated by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG), the Christmas Fund is non-religious and fully inclusive. Anyone who needs help, and meets the program’s eligibility criteria, can access support.
“The Christmas Fund is a grassroots, community-driven program,” said Ed Gavsie, president and CEO of RCRG.
“The vast majority of our donations come from regular Richmond residents and businesses, who simply want to brighten the holidays for their neighbours in need.”
On each of the four Saturdays, Christmas Fund registration will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Richmond Caring Place, 7000 Minoru Boulevard.
To receive assistance, clients must bring picture ID for themselves, CareCards for all family members being registered, proof of Richmond residency, and an original document showing they’re enrolled in an approved government income assistance program.
On the same day they register, clients will receive grocery vouchers – up to four per household, while daily supplies last – and, if they have children, will be able to select gifts from the Christmas Fund Toy Room. Teenagers between 13 and 17 years old will receive gift cards.
“In 2017, our service delivery numbers increased by 25%, to over 2,100 people,” added Gavsie.
“As the program gets busier, we remain committed to helping all those who need it, and appreciate clients’ patience and understanding as we strive to create a positive Christmas Fund experience for everyone.”
More information on Christmas Fund registration, including eligibility criteria and required documentation, is available online at RCRG.org, or by calling 604-279-7035.