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Richmond Christmas Fund registration opens Nov. 19

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:22 PST, Wed November 16, 2022

Registration for the 90th annual Richmond Christmas Fund begins on Nov. 19.

A program of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG), the Christmas Fund assists low-income residents during the holidays, providing them with grocery vouchers, toys, books, and gift cards.

“The Christmas Fund was launched in 1932, and throughout its history has remained a grassroots, community-led initiative,” says Ed Gavsie, president and chief executive officer of RCRG. “Its mission then, as now, is to ensure that all of our neighbours in need can share in the holiday spirit.”

This year, the program will run over four consecutive Saturdays, from Nov. 19 through Dec. 10. On those days, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., residents in need of support can come to the Richmond Caring Place (7000 Minoru Blvd.) to complete an eligibility assessment. Those who qualify for support will receive their allotment of grocery vouchers, toys, and gift cards on the same day they register.

“With the rising cost of living, we know that more people are struggling,” says Gavsie. “We’re prepared to meet the need, but, as always, we ask everyone using the Christmas Fund to be patient and respectful—with our volunteers and each other—so we can help as many people as possible.”

For more information on the Christmas Fund’s eligibility criteria, and this year’s registration process, visit rcrg.org/ChristmasFundHelp or call 604-279-7035.

The online auction, which opens at 9 a.m. on Nov. 21, has over 200 items ranging from restaurant gift cards to home appliances to Vancouver Canucks tickets. Everything in the auction has been donated by local businesses and community members, and the starting bid for each item is a mere fraction of the fair market value. Every dollar spent supports the Christmas Fund. Sign up online at e.givesmart.com/events/sWY/.

After a two-year hiatus, the Christmas Fund's signature fundraising event, A Not So Silent Night, is back live and in-person on Dec. 7 at the new Porsche Centre Richmond. The live auction is made up of 10 luxury packages combining high-end dining experiences, extravagant travel getaways, and fast cars. Tickets for A Not So Silent Night are $125 each, or $1,000 for a 10-ticket package, and can be purchased through the online auction website.

The Richmond Christmas Fund is made possible by hundreds of supporters—a group that includes volunteers, donors, partners, and well-wishers. Each year, this outpouring of generosity is led by a small number of caring companies and kind-hearted organizations. Collectively, they're known as the Christmas Fund's Angel Donors, a title they've earned by each making an annual contribution of $10,000 or more.

Since 2019, Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration has donated over $40,000 to the Christmas Fund, and the company has also been a lifesaver when it comes to logistics. Platinum-Pro-Claim provides space in its warehouse, as well as transportation, helping to ensure that every toy donated to the Christmas Fund makes it to a child in need.

Herbaland is an Angel Donor for a third year. The company’s overall contribution to the Christmas Fund exceeds $30,000, and this year Herbaland has also printed 1,000 bags featuring the Christmas Fund bear. The company will be handing them out, along with samples of nutritional gummies, at this year's Richmond RCMP Toy Drive on Nov. 19.

Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives (RCRG) is a registered charity that serves as a hub for volunteering and giving. RCRG is also a direct service provider, operating a child care resource and referral centre, the Richmond Christmas Fund, and a variety of seniors community support services.

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