RCRG - Blog - A Gift That Keeps on Giving
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More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $4.5 million in nearly 50 Forever Funds, returning CPI plus 4%.
In 2017, the Foundation distributed $198,000 as community and Canada 150 grants, scholarships, and charitable disbursements.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.

A Gift That Keeps on Giving

Published October 10, 2018

Volunteering should make you feel good. That's a given. But you should also get something practical out of the experience. For Alex Chau, a Gift Wrap volunteer with the Richmond Christmas Fund, that's exactly what happened. Our volunteer writer, Amanda Oye, spoke with Alex about his time as a Gift Wrapper, and how it helped him gain new skills and even land a job.

People find joy during the holiday season in many places – tracking down the perfect gift for a loved one, sipping hot chocolate by a cozy fire, or spending a little extra time with friends and family. For some, like Alex Chau, holiday joy is found in volunteering and knowing that someone else’s Christmas is going to be a little bit merrier. 

Alex volunteers as a Gift Wrap Shift Supervisor for the Richmond Christmas Fund. He finds the experience rewarding “because what we do on the job directly impacts the lives of many people, especially during the Christmas season," he explains.

Gift wrapping is one of the ways the Richmond Christmas Fund raises money. Volunteers work a minimum of five shifts from December 1st to December 24th, wrapping gifts for people at Lansdowne Centre in exchange for a donation to the Christmas Fund. 

Alex, who is now in university, started helping to wrap gifts when he was in high school. “I think at first it was really exciting to do because I originally did it with my cousin, so it was nice to have an activity for the two of us to participate in together,” Alex says. They both needed volunteer hours for school, so it was the perfect opportunity. What started as a necessary after-school activity quickly became a passion for Alex, and he continued coming back year after year, working his way up to being a Gift Wrap Shift Supervisor. 

Doing so has benefited him in more ways than one. Volunteering as a Gift Wrapper “actually teaches you quite a bit of skills,” Alex says. For example, you learn how to work under pressure. “You have so many people coming in and out,” Alex explains. 

He directly benefited from this experience when he interviewed for a customer service job and was asked specifically about his ability to work under pressure. “Having been able to recall this experience was really helpful for my successful interview,” he says. 

Gift Wrappers also learn a variety of “soft-skills, like being able to talk to customers, being able to explain what an organization does, being able to represent an organization, and I think it's a good thing to have on your resume,” Alex says. 

For students, one of the great benefits of the position is that it is an opportunity to learn how to work on a team. There are a lot of times throughout your schooling where you have to work in teams “and I think learning how to communicate with different people from different walks of life is really important,” Alex says. 

Alex’s experience with the Christmas Fund, from his first days as a high school student, really goes to show that volunteering is a gift that keeps on giving. 

If you are interested in volunteering as a Gift Wrapper, here's everything you need to know.

Photo Caption: Gift Wrap volunteers at Lansdowne Centre. This year, the Christmas Fund's Gift Wrap booth will be open at the mall from December 1 to 24, with all proceeds supporting families in need during the holiday season.