Did you know?
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.

Road Trips and Friendships

Published September 27, 2017

A volunteer and a car. Put the two together, and they can change lives. Our Richmond Better at Home program is proof. The program supports local seniors, with services like friendly visiting, light housekeeping, and transportation. As you can probably guess, it’s the latter service where the volunteers and cars come in. Last year, our volunteer drivers completed 1,655 trips, bringing seniors to and from medical appointments and social events. Volunteer writer Amanda Oye spoke with two Better at Home drivers, who talked about the difference they make in seniors’ lives, and how their own lives have been enriched by the people they meet in the passenger seat. 

There is no better way to be a driving force for good in the community than by becoming a volunteer. And if you ask Don Pearson, a volunteer with Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives’ (RCRG) Better at Home program, driving is an easy and flexible way to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. 

“It’s not a difficult task, but it’s quite rewarding,” he says. Pearson has been volunteering as a driver in the community ever since RCRG began running the Better at Home program, in 2013. 

Better at Home is a provincial initiative administered by the United Way and funded by the Government of British Columbia. The program aims to make it easier for seniors to live independently for longer, by offering services such as transportation, friendly visiting, and light housekeeping. 

RCRG, a registered charity that’s been serving the community for 45 years, provides Better at Home services in Richmond.  

When you volunteer your time to help get a senior to and from a doctor’s appointment, you are so much more than a driver to them. More often than not, you’re also a friend. And that’s the best part of the position. 

“Just talking to them and getting that smile at the end of the day from them makes me happy,” says Mumtaz Nathu, who is also a volunteer driver. “If I make one person happy, it makes my day,” she says. Sometimes, all the seniors need to smile is someone to listen to them on the drive. “Quite often they talk a lot,” says Nathu. This is something she loves. “I learn a lot from them,” she says. 

There is a tremendous amount of job satisfaction that goes with being a volunteer driver. Because of this, volunteers like Pearson and Nathu often find themselves going above and beyond during driving duties, happy to make the lives of those around them a bit easier when they can. 

This might mean narrating the ride for a blind passenger, helping to recycle a large electronic item, or providing support and compassion to someone who has just received bad news from a doctor. After all, “You’re the first person they see after the diagnoses, and so you try to talk to them and reassure them,” Pearson says. 

Both Pearson and Nathu speak incredibly fondly of the people they drive, and you can hear the joy in their voices when they tell stories of their favourite memories. It’s not hard to see why.

“The people you drive are really good people,” Pearson says. From seniors who start off shy, and then warm up and become chatterboxes, to seniors who show their gratitude for drivers who have gone above and beyond in unexpected ways, the people volunteers spend their time helping are grateful and kindhearted. This is what makes continuing to volunteer with the program year after year such an easy decision.

With Richmond's seniors' population on the rise, the need for volunteer drivers has never been greater. Indeed, the Better at Home transportation service is so popular that RCRG is struggling to meet the demand.

And so, if you have even a few hours a week to drive seniors to medical appointments, recreational activities, and community events, RCRG would love your help.

To get involved, contact Eric Chow, Richmond Better at Home Coordinator, at 604-279-7020 or echow@rcrg.org. You can also apply online.