The Richmond Christmas Fund is a non-religious, non-discriminatory program. We provide assistance to low-income individuals and families living in Richmond, BC, who do not have the financial means to celebrate the holidays.
Please note that the Christmas Fund is not a government program, and is supported almost entirely by donations from the community. The program exists thanks to the incredible generosity of Richmond residents.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic hardship it's created, means that countless Richmond families and households are struggling financially. As a result, many residents will be unable to afford a holiday celebration.
At the Christmas Fund, we're facing challenges of our own. Due to social distancing guidelines, we can't run the program as we have in years past. Meanwhile, many of our fundraising events and activities have either been cancelled or scaled back, leaving us with fewer resources to help those in need.
Despite all of this, the Christmas Fund will go ahead in 2020. We've implemented a number of new health and safety guidelines, and completely revised our registration procedures. Our goal, as always, is to ensure that everyone can share in the holiday spirit. This year, though, more than ever, we require your patience and understanding as we work to meet an overwhelming community need.
The Christmas Fund provides eligible individuals and families with grocery vouchers. Households with children aged 11 and under will also receive a selection of new toys and books, while youth between the ages of 12 and 17 will be given gift cards.
Please note that the value of the grocery vouchers and the number of toys will be lower this year. This will allow us to stretch our resources further and help as many people as possible.
If you received assistance from the Christmas Fund last year (2019), you are automatically eligible to use the program again in 2020. The only criteria is that you're still a Richmond resident.
Throughout August, our volunteers will be phoning every household that registered with the Christmas Fund last holiday season. During the call, you'll be asked if you need the program this year. If not, you'll be removed from our registration list, and no further action is required on your part.
If you do require assistance, the volunteer will update your household and contact information, and provide you with a date - either in November or December - to come pick up your grocery vouchers, toys, and/or gift cards.
Closer to your pick-up date, you'll receive a reminder e-mail with more detailed instructions.
If you did not access the Christmas Fund in 2019, but require assistance this year, a volunteer will meet with you online, via Zoom, to assess your eligibility. You will be asked to show the following documentation:
• Picture ID for yourself
• CareCards for all family members being registered
• Proof of Richmond residency, such as a hydro bill, rent receipt, driver’s license, BCID, or BC Services Card
• An original document that proves you are currently enrolled in at least one of the following government income assistance programs:
• BC Disability Assistance
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits will not be accepted
• Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
You will be deemed eligible if you received CERB any time in 2020
For faster and easier registration, please prepare as many proof-of-eligibility documents as you have available.
To schedule an online meeting with one of our volunteers, please complete the expression of interest form below. We'll follow up via e-mail to provide you with the exact day and time of your meeting.
If you meet the Christmas Fund's eligibility requirements, you'll be given a day and time when you can come pick up your grocery vouchers, toys, and/or gift cards.
This year, to best protect the health and safety of clients, volunteers, and staff, the Richmond Christmas Fund will be doing curbside pick-up.
After registering, whether over the phone or via Zoom, you will be given a day, time, and location to come and pick up your items. It's important that you come only during your assigned time, and leave as soon as you receive your items.
• Your pick-up window will be several hours long. There's no need to line up early, or to arrive right at the beginning. Your items - grocery vouchers, toys, gift cards - will have already been pre-packaged and reserved in your name. You will get the same thing whether you come early or later in the day.
• Please bring picture ID so we can quickly confirm your identity and provide you with your pre-packaged items.
• You will not be able to choose toys for your children. We'll select items based on their ages, and create a bag of toys specifically for your family. Under no circumstances are you allowed to exchange or return items. We ask, as well, that you not open your bag until you leave the Christmas Fund pick-up area.
• You're expected to adhere to all social distancing signage displayed throughout the pick-up area. As well, you'll be required to wear a mask and use hand sanitizer, both of which will be supplied.
• Only one or two members of your household should come during your assigned pick-up time. Please do not bring any children.
• If multiple clients come to pick up their items at the same time, there may be a line-up. Social distancing markers will ensure that everyone in line stands apart. This spacing, however, means the line may extend outside. Please dress accordingly.
• You can ask a friend or neighbour to pick up items on your behalf. Please contact us ahead of time so we're aware of this arrangement.
• Contact us, as well, if you're not able to make your scheduled pick-up time. We'll do our best to move you to a different time slot. Note, however, that we cannot guarantee that a different pick-up time will be available.
• If you miss your scheduled pick-up time, you will no longer be eligible to receive assistance this year. As such, it's extremely important that you remember your assigned time slot.
• To contact the Christmas Fund, call 604-279-7035 or e-mail email@example.com.