The Richmond Christmas Fund is a non-religious, non-discriminatory program. We assist individuals and families living in Richmond, BC, who are facing financial hardship and cannot afford a holiday celebration.
The Christmas Fund provides eligible individuals and families with grocery vouchers: one per family member, up to a maximum of four vouchers per household. In addition, families with children aged 11 and under may choose gifts for their children from our Toy Room. Finally, youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are given gift cards.
This year, the Christmas Fund is returning to same-day registration and distribution, which will result in the following changes:
• We will no longer be offering virtual registration. To receive support from the Christmas Fund, you must come and apply in person on a designated registration day.
• If you qualify for assistance, you'll receive your selection of grocery vouchers, toys, and gift cards on the same day you register.
To receive assistance from the Christmas Fund, you must bring the following documents when you register:
• 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
• BC Housing Rental Assistance Program
• Guaranteed Income Supplement
• Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters
• Try to prepare your documents as early as possible. This will ensure that, if a document is missing, you'll have time to contact the appropriate agency and get a replacement.
• All documents must be current. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm your eligibility with outdated documentation.
• If you or members of your household are enrolled in multiple income assistance programs, it's helpful to have documentation for all of them. The more information you provide, the more easily we can assess your eligibility.
• You will not qualify for assistance without the required documentation. If you have questions about your eligibility or any of your documents, please call 604-279-7035 or e-mail email@example.com.
This year, Christmas Fund registration will be held in-person at the Richmond Caring Place, located at 7000 Minoru Boulevard. Once you've prepared the required documents, you can come on any of the following days, and a volunteer will assess your eligibility:
If you qualify for assistance, you'll be given your allotment of grocery vouchers, toys, and gift cards on the same day you register. There is no need to come back on a separate pick-up day.
• When coming to register, please arrive no later than 12pm. Depending on the length of the line, we may have to close registration early, and those at the end of the line will be asked to come on a different day.
• It isn't necessary for all family members to attend the registration session. One person can bring all of the required documents, and register on behalf of the entire household. If possible, we ask that you not bring any children when you register, as there will likely be long waits and little for them to do.
• While we'll try to advance the line as quickly as possible, there will be a period of time when you'll need to wait outside. Please dress appropriately for the weather.
• If you have children aged 11 or under, you'll be able to select gifts from the Christmas Fund Toy Room. We'll provide you with bags, but the items may be large or heavy. Please ensure you have a means of taking them home with you, as you cannot pick up your items at a later date.
• If you're not able to attend a registration session, you can give your documents to a friend or neighbour, and they can register on your behalf. In addition to your eligibility documents, please provide the person with a signed note, so we know they have permission to pick up your items.
Virtual registration and scheduled pick-up times were temporary measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that public health restrictions have eased, we're returning to our standard process of same-day registration and distribution.
This will allow us to operate the program at a larger scale, and ultimately help more people. From a client perspective, it also means that you can complete Christmas Fund registration and receive your items all at once, rather than returning on a separate pick-up day.
In addition, instead of receiving pre-packaged toy bags, parents will once again be able to select gifts for their children from the Christmas Fund Toy Room.
Definitely not. Whether you come on the first or last day, you'll receive the same number of grocery vouchers and gift cards.
As for toys, our selection changes based on the donations we receive. New donations come in throughout the holiday season, right up to the last day of registration. It's possible that, if you come on one of the later registration days, there will be more items to choose from, as we re-stock the Toy Room with new donations.
The building opens at 8am, and registration begins at 9am. While it's true that the Christmas Fund is first come, first served, there isn't a benefit to arriving extremely early. You'll receive the same items even if you come later in the day. While some registration days are busier than others, we recommend arriving between 8am and 11am, which should give you enough time to move through the line-up, complete your eligibility assessment, and pick up your items.
We can't control how many people show up on a given registration day, and neither can you! To minimize your wait time, we recommend not coming on the first day, and ensuring that you bring all of the correct documentation. No matter when you come, chances are, there will still be a long line-up. Remember: everyone in line is there to receive help, just like you. Being patient and respectful with staff, volunteers, and fellow clients is the best way to help the program run smoothly and efficiently.