Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, shows off some of the larger donations purchased by people for Volunteer Nanaimo’s Christmas Angels program that supports seniors, families and youths in need at Christmas. The program needs to match about 160 more families with Angel sponsors. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, shows off some of the larger donations purchased by people for Volunteer Nanaimo’s Christmas Angels program that supports seniors, families and youths in need at Christmas. The program needs to match about 160 more families with Angel sponsors. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s angels help those in need at Christmas time

With Christmas Angels program, it’s often the little things that count, says Volunteer Nanaimo

Anonymous angels will grace Nanaimo’s Christmas trees again this year.

Volunteer Nanaimo’s Christmas Angels program, which supports Nanaimo’s children and families in need, is again calling out to individuals and businesses who want to share cheer with those less fortunate.

Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, said the program is out to support about 400 families – 100 more than last year – or around 1,200 people and the program is still looking for sponsors for about 160 families.

The Christmas Angels program helps seniors, families and vulnerable youths through Christmas by matching them with sponsoring donors. Recipients are vetted through Volunteer Nanaimo and other agencies that refer them to the program. Sponsors and donors never know each others’ identities. Tax receipts are issued for donations and every dollar donated is spent locally and none is used for administration or Volunteer Nanaimo operating costs because the organization has no paid staff.

Innamorati said she and her volunteers never know what Angels will give and because sponsors want to make Christmas extra special, the gifts purchased can be quite elaborate, such as a karaoke machine for one child and a skateboard for another. But little items are important and can make a big difference, according to Volunteer Nanaimo.

“If you can’t adopt, [consider] a small donation, a small gift card that we can put in a teen’s gift bag,” Innmorati said. “There are huge asks this year for shampoo and conditioner. Tea towels, laundry detergent. Stuff that you don’t normally get in a food hamper, but it’s stuff that they still need. Or if they want to donate a hoodie for a teenager … something that’s not used, so a child can have something new to wear after Christmas.”

Socks, movie passes, gift cards for groceries, Tim Hortons or Subway, ear buds, adult colouring books and felt markers are just a few suggestions for inexpensive donations. Items for vulnerable youths are on Innamorati’s wish list too.

“For those kids it’s a decent backpack because they’re walking in the rain a lot, and warm socks and toiletries … those toiletry kits you get for $10, those are like gold for those kids,” Innamorati said.

To get involved in Volunteer Nanaimo’s Christmas Angels program or learn more about it, call 250-758-7121 or e-mail vnanaimo@gmail.com.

Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island University. (File photo)
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

The City of Nanaimo’s Community Services Building at 285 Prideaux St., where the 7-10 Club is located, will host a warming centre seven days a week through March 31. (City of Nanaimo photo)
Warming centres for people experiencing homelessness open today in Nanaimo

City of Nanaimo and social agencies partnering on Wallace and Prideaux locations

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
AUDIO: Interview with broadcaster and Island resident Terry David Mulligan

PQBeat podcast asks Nanoose Bay resident about radio and TV career, wine and more

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
New executive director leading Nanaimo hospice at a time when grief counselling is greatly needed

Paige Karczynski takes over as Nanaimo Community Hospice Society begins its 40th year

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hiker among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Incident happened at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read