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Richmond shows it cares through its giving

Don Fennell   Nov-22-2017

The annual Christmas Fund Drive-Thru Event is Nov. 24 at River Rock Casino Resort.

Photo by Chung Chow

Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives invites you to help make holiday wishes come true.

This Christmas season is the perfect time to create memories that will last a lifetime, and contributing to the Richmond Christmas Fund is a great way to help make them happen.



This weekend (Sunday, Dec. 3) from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m., the community fundraisers continue with the Steveston Merchants Association presenting the annual Christmas Classic Car Cruise through Steveston Village. All entries will be making either a toy or cash donation to the Richmond Christmas Fund to assist low-income families during the holiday season.

Also upcoming is the Shopping Night at Splash Toy Shop (3580 Moncton St. in Steveston) Dec. 7, and the 11th annual Victor Ghirra Toy Drive Dec. 16 at Riverside Place Banquet Hall on Knox Road (off River Road, east of No. 6 Road).

During Shopping Night at Splash Toy Shop, you can stretch your donation dollars further, and save 30 per cent on purchases intended for the Richmond Fund donation bins. This is an exclusive event being held only in support of the Richmond Christmas Fund from 6 to 9 p.m. and not for personal shopping.

The Victor Ghirra Toy Drive, to be held at 144431 Knox Way in East Richmond, is a family event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Benevolent Brotherhood Society is helping the Ghirra Family, the Co-Operators Insurance Agencies, and Vancity Credit Union to organize a toy drive in memory of Victor Ghirra who was involved in many charitable initiatives. A $3,000 scholarship in his memory was also established at McNair Secondary, awarded for the last six years to community-minded students.

This year, gift wrapping in support of the Richmond Christmas Fund will be held exclusively at Lansdowne Centre shopping mall. From Dec. 9 to Dec. 24, volunteers at the gift booth will wrap your present with the skill of Santa’s elves in exchange for a donation to the fund.

People coming together in support of those who need a little help over the Christmas season reflects the kind of generosity synonymous with Richmond, says Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives general manager Jocelyn Wong.

“That’s the key for me,” she says. “It showcases what we’re here for. We’re not a national organization, we are a program started by a community member (Ethel Tibbits) who saw a need in our community. It continues to grow 85 years later.”

While Wong obviously wishes there wasn’t such a need, she appreciates the fact that every year people step up to volunteer, or support the Richmond Christmas Fund, in another way.

“That brings so much joy and warmth to my heart,” she says.

Recently, the 2017 Christmas Fund Drive-Thru Event was held River Rock Casino Resort where volunteers collected donations of cash and toys. Everyone who made a donation received coffee and a McDonald’s pastry and were able to enjoy the festive sounds of the Steveston-London choir.

Book lovers of all ages also helped those less fortunate this holiday season. Fifteen per cent of many sales made Nov. 17 at Indigospirit at Richmond Centre were donated to the Richmond Christmas Fund.

On Nov. 18, the third annual Richmond RCMP Toy Drive and Pancake Breakfast returned to Ironwood Plaza. Bigger and better than ever, new, unwrapped toys were donated to the Richmond Christmas Fund after first being stuffed into an RCMP squad car.

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