From the annual RVA Illuminates to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden glowing through the night, Richmond is a magical place during the holidays. While people all over the region are hard at work preparing to celebrate with loved ones, RVA’s nonprofits are working even harder to ensure that everybody has a happy holiday season.
Here are five Richmond-based nonprofits and the celebrations, events and fundraisers being offered this season.
The Richmond Christmas Parade is a nonprofit organization that’s been around for 40 years. Sponsored by Dominion Energy, the Christmas Parade is a free event that helps Richmond get into the Christmas spirit each year.
In addition to putting on the fun event for free, the Christmas Parade invites 100 kids from Camp Hope to get a VIP view of the parade, a catered breakfast and special gifts to help them celebrate the holiday season.
With its train of themed floats, giant balloons, dance teams and marching bands, the parade will be making its way down Broad Street on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 10:15 a.m. The event also can be viewed via live broadcast on WTVR CBS-6. Those interested in volunteering on parade day can visit its website.
The Richmond Christmas Mother has been a Richmond Christmastime tradition since 1935. The nonprofit, run by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, has since spread to 12 different localities throughout the commonwealth. By partnering with The Salvation Army, The Community Foundation and FeedMore, the Christmas Mother provides a jolly holiday to underserved families throughout the community.
Christmas Mothers are elected from a committee to be the face of the movement, traveling to different events and fundraisers throughout the season. Donations raised by the Christmas Mother go toward toys, food, winter coats and financial and emotional support that go a long way in supporting Richmond’s families.
This year’s Richmond Christmas Mother is Jacquelin Ukrop Aronson. Those interested in making a donation can visit the Christmas Mother section of the RTD website here.
For those currently in recovery, the holidays aren’t always the most wonderful time of the year. Luckily, CARITAS is making it its mission this year to ensure everyone has a happy holiday, no matter what they’re going through.
CARITAS has a number of holiday-themed events, but the Holiday Shop is its biggest draw. The Holiday Shop takes place on Dec. 19 and is designed to ensure everybody gets a gift this Christmas.
Donations for the Holiday Shop are accepted until Dec. 15. CARITAS is asking for men’s pajama sets, sweatshirts, bras, undershirts, small flashlights, 2024 day planners, women’s fleece headbands and gift cards.
CARITAS also is looking for volunteers for the event to assist with trying on clothes and shoes, wrapping gifts, giving attendees hot cocoa and setting/cleaning up. Information on donations, how to volunteer and all of CARITAS’ holiday offering can be found at its website.
This year, Hanukkah is Dec. 7-15. Celebration of the Festival of Lights will occur on all seven nights, but Richmond community members can party with Kehillah on one night only!
The event will take place on Dec. 9 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Gather in Short Pump and feature donuts, a Menorah lighting, games, giveaways, a mocktail bar, a kid’s station and fun for everyone. The event is free, but RSVPs are required. More information can be found on the Kehillah website here.
When it comes to celebrating the holidays, we can’t forget our furry friends! Richmond Animal League’s annual Operation Silent Night is a special event to find homes for all pets in its shelter. From Dec. 1-20, adoption hours are extended, and fees are just $10!
At the end of Operation Silent Night, Richmond Animal League will conduct a beautiful luminary ceremony on Dec. 21 to honor the loyal pets we love so much and soak in the silence of the shelter that signifies a job well done. This special event is free but RSVPs are encouraged, and personal luminaries can be purchased here.