December 2, 2023

The Richmond Christmas Fund was based 90 years in the past by Ethel Tibbits, editor of the now-defunct Richmond Evaluate.

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On Saturday, Nov. 18, the eighth annual Richmond Christmas Fund toy drive happened. Organized by Richmond RCMP, the occasion introduced in a whole lot of individuals, over 1 1/2 tons of toys and raised over $26,000. It additionally landed a few native celebrities within the dunk tank.

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“We have now a significant donor, Summit Customs Brokers, who donated $10,000 if the officer-in-charge of the Richmond detachment would comply with be dunked,” mentioned Ed Gavsie, president and CEO of Richmond Cares, Richmond Offers.

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Final 12 months, the fortunate dunkee was then-chief Supt. Will Ng. This 12 months it was the brand new man, Chief Supt. Dave Chauhan.

“He was dunked by the mayor — on the mayor’s first throw. Then Henry Yao, Richmond South-Centre MLA, volunteered to be dunked as effectively.”

The Richmond Christmas Fund was based 90 years in the past by Ethel Tibbits, editor of the now-defunct Richmond Evaluate. It’s now a program of Richmond Cares, Richmond Offers. A registered charity now in its fiftieth 12 months, RCRG serves as a hub for volunteering and giving, and operates the Youngster Care Useful resource & Referral Centre and quite a lot of seniors’ group help companies. The Richmond Christmas Fund relies on the help of group companions just like the Empty Stocking Fund.

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Together with distributing over 12,000 toys, the Richmond Christmas Fund offers each qualifying household a Save-On-Meals present card per member.

“We all know from unsolicited testimonials that many individuals wouldn’t be capable of have a festive meal or toys for his or her youngsters with out this assist,” Gavsie mentioned. “What we see in Richmond are working poor. All of the mother and father’ cash goes to lease and meals and garments. There’s not lots of disposable revenue to go round.”

This 12 months’s toy drive generated file outcomes, Gavsie says.

“There’s a pallet of toys that also needs to be weighed, however even with out it we’re the place we have been final 12 months by way of weight.”

A 505-JUNK truck with a scale was on-site to weigh the toys.

“We’ve by no means been capable of rely them as a result of they arrive in too quick.”

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As soon as the toys are collected, Gavsie, his colleagues and volunteers get to work packing and distributing.

“We did a distribution run on the identical day because the toy drive,” he mentioned. “And for the following three Saturdays, we’ll be distributing them to those that register. Then we have now some particular distributions the place sure service suppliers come into the toy room and select toys and get their playing cards, and folks with counsellors or attendants who can’t be a part of a giant crowd.”

Practically a decade in, the toy drive has taken on a lifetime of its personal, he says.

“We have now lots of new companions, like Coca-Cola with their caravan, a photograph space with Santa and a caricaturist. I do know that in speaking to the mini-doughnut truck operator that we gave out extra luggage of mini-doughnuts this 12 months than final. Yearly it will get a bit of greater.”

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