EDITORIAL: Christmas giving starts now

It was a Friday of fast and furious deals, as Black Friday excitement carried on through Richmond retailers.

An American tradition now also Canadian, Black Friday marked the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. Lost in the excitement of savings, however, were those who need help the most.

But organizers of the Richmond Christmas Fund are about to change that tomorrow Thursday, as the Richmond Day of Giving will mark the unofficial start of the Christmas charitable giving season.

On this day companies across Richmond will join together to make a difference for local families by donating a percentage of sales for that day to the Richmond Christmas Fund. Also on Thursday is the Christmas Fund Drive-Thru Event at Lansdowne Centre mall’s parking lot. From 6 a.m. to noon, volunteers will be collecting donations of new toys, books, gift cards and cash on behalf of the Christmas fund.

This Richmond Day of Giving should get us all in the mood for the Christmas season—a season of charity and helping others that so many locals are committed to. Richmond Food Bank and Salvation Army are a few other local charities that rely on Christmas generosity to keep their programs going through the year.

In Richmond, it’s easy to forget those in need. We’re surrounded by affluence: new houses, fancy cars and well-dressed shoppers. Yet poverty is all around us.

In 2006, the poverty rate for children in Richmond was 26 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. That’s the second highest child poverty rate of any municipality in the province.

So as we enter the season of lights, festive parties and holiday celebrations, let’s keep Richmond’s tradition of giving strong. Our children deserve it.

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