Annual Holiday Charity Event Brings Cheer to People in Need

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After nine years of helping to bring holiday cheer to the less fortunate, volunteers and organizers of Christmas in Richmond rolled up their sleeves this holiday season to give back to the community.

On Christmas Day, they fed 300 people at Nevin Community Center in Richmond. Men, women and children also enjoyed the luxury of picking out free clothing and shoes. Everyone walked away with a wrapped gift for Christmas, and their stomachs and hearts full.

Christmas in Richmond was founded in 2006 by Burgundie Spears with to give back to the community after she saw a dire need in Richmond. With the help of her mother Edna Campbell and sister Aaliyah Washington, the charity event has helped thousands of families since it started.

Aaliyah Washington, 13, led the Christmas in Richmond event this year.
Aaliyah Washington, 13, led the Christmas in Richmond event this year.

It has sparked many similar holiday giveaways across the Bay Area since, including Vallejo, Hayward, and Oakland.

“This is personal. We literally sit down and have dinner with them, laugh with them, we spend an entire day with them,” said Edna Campbell, one of the co-founders of Christmas in Richmond.

This year, 13-year old Aaliyah took on the lead role to continue the annual event and encouraged other young people to get involved, visiting different schools to talk about Christmas in Richmond.

Students from Crestmont Elementary School donated money raised from a yard sale to help with the charity event this year. A family also donated food from their San Francisco Chinese restaurant.

“We want to spark the minds and hearts of other to do the same thing,” Campbell said.

While many people are happy to see Christmas in Richmond come back every year, Campbell said this would be their last time hosting the event.

For more information, visit www.christmasinrichmond.org.

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