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Richmond Christmas Fund wraps up a challenging, hopeful season

Nearly 3,000 vulnerable residents benefited from the Christmas Fund program in 2020.
Richmond Christmas Fund Canadian Tire team
The Richmond Christmas Fund was able to brighten the holidays for 2,847 low-income residents thanks to supports like Canadian Tire, which donated $10,000 worth of toys. Photo: Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives

The sixth annual Richmond Christmas Fund program is almost over as organizers deliver the last packages to residents needing some help during the holidays.

The program – which is ran by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG) – helped a total of 2,847 low-income residents by providing them with toys, grocery vouchers, books and gift cards.

Of the nearly 3,000 low-income residents who have benefited from the program this year, 849 were children, 318 were youth and 347 were seniors.

Earlier this year, RCRG kicked off this year’s Christmas Fund program with its new reusable mask WearTheBear campaign to match the pandemic.

On Dec. 1, the Not So Isolated Night virtual auctions surpassed this year’s goal and raised a total of $33,000 for the cause.

The Richmond RCMP also held their annual toy drive in a drive-through fashion this year at Lansdowne Centre, which many community members showed up to support.

Donations from the single event filled four storage lockers with toys, equivalent to 1,000 cubic feet, and raised more than $11,000.

Ed Gavsie, CEO of RCRG, highlighted the hard work volunteers and community members contributed for this year’s events.

Throughout the past few months, volunteers with the Richmond Christmas Fund met with clients over Zoom to confirm eligibility and bagged hundreds of toys individually for registered families.

“We’ve been running the Christmas Fund for a long time,” said Gavsie, adding that they are always “surprised by Richmond’s generosity” and is honoured to be part of “such a caring community.”

“This year, there were a lot of people who needed support. We promised to be there for them, and we were.”