Princess Malazarte was “shocked” by the generosity of the Richmond Christmas Fund.
“I thought I wouldn’t get much, just one toy or a gift card.”
Instead, she walked away with three bags of new toys, as well as a grocery voucher for each member of her family-of-four.
The grocery vouchers are purchased with support from The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund. The Richmond Christmas Fund is one of 26 B.C. community organizations that receive donations from readers of The Province through our Empty Stocking Fund.
She hid the toys, although her three-year-old, Anastasia, saw them first: “I told her that I wanted some gifts under the tree, so I told her she could play with them later.”
Among the toys are five stuffies and a play cooking oven for her three-year-old daughter and a skateboard and football for her 11-year-old stepson.
This was her first time registering with the Richmond Christmas Bureau, though she first heard about it when she moved to the city three years ago. But she was too busy to register.
“This year, I didn’t want to miss it. It was a long lineup but it was worth it.”
She works part-time at Costco, and her husband is a mover. She says that this year has been harder on her family than past years.
“I had a hard time finding a job after quitting my previous job. I was thinking to just get a part-time job but it took me three weeks to find one. So that was tough. And this year is pretty tough.”
She found the volunteers working at the Fund “friendly and warm.”
“Though people were fighting in the line they were very patient and they were explaining how it goes and what we should prepare for and what to expect. But I was so surprised. It was Christmas for me. A lady gave me suggestions on what books were appropriate for my children. ‘Oh, this one will be so good for your little girl. Your little girl will learn a lot.’ And then there was a new Hardy Boys’ book. ‘This one is good for your 11-year-old boy.’ ”
Her kids are excited about Christmas, especially her daughter: “She loves Christmas. They’re very excited for the gifts.”
The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund campaign runs until Dec. 31.
Donations can be made by:
Online at: https://theprovince.com/esf
By mail to: The Province Empty Stocking Fund
968 East Cordova St., Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1M6
By calling: 604-253-6911
2023 direct donation link: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/DonationPage.aspx?eventid=385682
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