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

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nanaimo hospital staff say lives depend on stopping spread of COVID-19

President of medical staff association, chief of staff at NRGH asking for community’s best efforts

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam, cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Most Read