June 20, 2024

Toys collected on the drive, which takes place Nov. 18 within the parking zone of Lansdowne Centre, will go to the nonprofit’s Christmas fund.

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Final 12 months, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie dunked the officer in command of the RCMP Richmond detachment as a part of the annual RCMP Toy Drive.

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This 12 months, as a substitute of a dunk tank, organizers of the annual occasion are placing individuals behind bars.

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“Some notable individuals in the neighborhood and others will likely be jailed till they get sufficient donations to launch them, and stored there by the RCMP on scene,” mentioned Ed Gavsie, president and CEO of Richmond Cares, Richmond Provides.

And it received’t be simply individuals — a few of the mascots in attendance, such because the Richmond Hearth Division’s Blaze and the RCMP’s Security Bear, can even be rounded up in an effort to gather extra toys for Richmond households.

Final 12 months’s drive collected 1.7 tons of toys. “The toys got here in so quick that we will’t rely them,” Gavsie mentioned. Toys collected on the drive, which takes place Nov. 18 within the parking zone of Lansdowne Centre, will go to the nonprofit’s Christmas fund.

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Richmond Cares, Richmond Provides acts as each volunteer centre for the town and likewise the operator of a number of neighborhood packages for seniors and households. Based 91 years in the past by Ethel Tibbits, writer of the Richmond Evaluation, the Richmond Christmas Fund is its best-known program. Funds raised by The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund go to the Richmond Christmas Fund in addition to different bureaus within the Decrease Mainland.

Final 12 months, the fund helped 2,835 individuals, a 22-per-cent improve over the earlier 12 months, together with 1,178 youngsters and youngsters. Eighty volunteers labored on the Christmas fund, contributing over 1,200 hours.

This 12 months these donations are wanted greater than ever, Gavsie says.

“As a result of financial system, we’ve got seen various our company sponsors drop out as a result of they simply don’t have the {dollars} out there. A number of renewed, however a number of did drop out. We’ve got had a few new what we name ‘angel donors,’ individuals who have donated $10,000 or extra. However fundraising is down general.”

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Registration for the Richmond Christmas Fund begins Nov. 15, after The Province’s publication date, so Gavsie didn’t know what demand will appear like this 12 months.

“If we take a look at a few of our fellow non-profits, for example the Richmond Meals Financial institution, it had a 53-per-cent improve in requests for assist between September over January of this 12 months alone. So we don’t know what our numbers will likely be, however we’re fairly certain there’s going to be elevated demand. So there will likely be much less funds by means of fundraising and extra demand. It’s going to be a difficult 12 months for us.”

Additional complicating issues is a transfer to Lansdowne Mall.

“Our previous toy room was taken away from us, after 20-some-odd years in the identical location. So we’re very grateful to the homeowners of Lansdowne and the operators who’re offering us with area to function the Christmas fund out of.”

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Due to the transfer, and in order to not disrupt Christmas buyers, Richmond Christmas Fund is rising the variety of distribution days.

“Folks are available and register after which get their meals playing cards and/or toys, if they’ve children, the identical day. There’s no preregistration. That’s why we don’t know what the demand goes to be. So we’ve elevated the variety of distribution days from 4 prior to now to fifteen this 12 months to try to unfold the group a bit extra.”

For 105 years, The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund has been devoted to creating the vacations brighter for B.C. residents who’re much less lucky. With the generosity of our readers and supporters, the fund offers cash to 26 B.C. neighborhood organizations that present meals hampers and items to youngsters, needy households and singles.


The 2023 marketing campaign will run from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31. Donations might be made at:

On-line: https://theprovince.com/esf

By mail to: The Province Empty Stocking Fund; 968 East Cordova St.; Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1M6

By calling: 604-253-6911

2023 direct donation hyperlink: https://safe.e2rm.com/registrant/DonationPage.aspx?eventid=385682

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