Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, displays some of the items that have been donated to help brighten Christmas for underprivileged families, seniors and youths in Nanaimo. The program, based on donor and recipient anonymity, matches people and organizations that want to share with those in need. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director, displays some of the items that have been donated to help brighten Christmas for underprivileged families, seniors and youths in Nanaimo. The program, based on donor and recipient anonymity, matches people and organizations that want to share with those in need. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Volunteer Nanaimo looking for Christmas Angels

Program helps those who want to assist underprivileged families, seniors and youths

Volunteer Nanaimo hopes the weeks leading up to Christmas are when angels will spread their wings.

The organization’s Christmas Angels program, which supports children and families in need, is looking for individuals and local businesses in Nanaimo who are looking to help others through the Christmas season with donations.

Christmas Angels help families, seniors and vulnerable youths through Christmas.

“Last year we helped just over 900 people,” said Rita Innamorati, Volunteer Nanaimo director. “It was about 300 households, thereabouts, but some are smaller, some are bigger. We have a lot of youths.”

Families helped through Christmas Angels are matched with sponsoring donors, but neither the angels or the recipients ever know each others’ identities. The recipients are vetted through Volunteer Nanaimo and agencies that refer those in need the program. Tax receipts are issued for donations and every dollar donated is spent locally.

“Every dollar is spent on Christmas Angels,” Innamorati said. “There is nothing for administration because we don’t have any paid staff. We already have a roof over our heads. We already have the phones. We already have the computers. We spend nothing, absolutely nothing on anything but Christmas Angels.”

Donations are accepted right up until Dec. 23. Donors can purchase items and grocery gift cards for sponsored families or simply make cash donations via Paypal directly to the Christmas Angels program.

For donors who want to give something directly, Innamorati said grocery gift cards that can be given to families are always welcome, but there is always a special need to for items for teenagers.

“Even a $25 gift card, if three people drop one off we’ve got a family of six taken care of,” Innamorati said, “but if they want to buy an actual gift, something for older kids.”

Make-up kits, hoodies, socks and even new pillows or toothbrushes and toothpaste are things are things young people hope to get at Christmas.

“A big thing with the kids are hoodies, socks, gloves,” she said. “Toothbrushes. The youths, in their stockings, toothbrushes, that’s what they’re asking for. Pillows. I have one lady that’s donating 20 pillows and she made custom pillowcases all year for the kids.”

To learn more about the program or to become a Christmas Angel, visit www.volunteernanaimo.ca, e-mail vnanaimo@gmail.com or call Innamorati directly at 250-758-7121.



photos@nanaimobulletin.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

FOI records provided to the News Bulletin from the City of Nanaimo in 2018. (News Bulletin file photo)
Samra’s numerous FOI requests to City of Nanaimo aren’t ‘vexatious,’ privacy commissioner decides

Former CAO says records will assist her in a future B.C. Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk on Nanaimo’s Victoria Road

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Rendering of two residential buildings proposed for the corner of Haliburton and Milton streets. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Two five-storey residential buildings approved for Haliburton Street

City council issues development permit for 79-unit complex at Haliburton and Milton

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

Most Read