The need for help during the winter holidays is greater than ever this year.
Registration for the Richmond Christmas Fund on the first day saw a lineup “larger” than previous years, according to Wayne Duzita, chairperson for Richmond Christmas Fund’s Not So Silent Night event.
“There’s no doubt that this year we’re going to have a record number of people looking for help and support,” said Duzita.
“This year, the lineup was larger and had more people than we’ve had at any other time on the first day.”
The annual Richmond Christmas Fund program, operated by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, helps underprivileged families celebrate the winter holidays.
Duzita told the Richmond News that some people he spoke to were in line as early as 4 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, when registration for the program began.
“People who I talked to, they were happy that someone cares and seeing that it makes all of us, who contribute to help them, feel some warmth from within,” he said.
“It’s always nice to really see and talk to some of the people that you’re helping. Quite often you don’t get a chance to do that. You just donate money and never kind of see where it goes or what it does.”
Duzita described himself as a “traditional Christmas guy” and said he always celebrates the holiday with his family, and he made it his and the Christmas Fund army’s goal to help others to do so as well.
“We have a strong community that steps up during times of need in Richmond, and those in line are families and neighbours who just need a little hand during the winter holidays.
“We’re doing enough this year and we’ll be able to help support the additional people who are coming for help.”