By Mike Kinney
Volunteers gathered in the LaVonya DeJean Middle School parking lots to distribute brand new bicycles, food in Chevron tote bags, and over $50,000 in gift cards.
“We know that times have been very tough for families and we hope that the combined team word of both the Richmond fire and police departments will help bring joy to the families that come here today,” said City of Richmond Crime Prevention Manager Michelle Milam.
The food donations came from a joint effort with the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and the Richmond fire and police departments. Fire Department volunteers noted they were giving away 150 brand new bikes, a great majority of which had been donated by the Richmond Rotary.
Families signed up in November for the holiday drive. The program takes about four to six months to plan every year, “and it is a joy when we hear from families who were helped,” according to the Richmond Police Department.
The RPD offered “special thanks to the Board of the Holiday Program, all of the volunteers, the Richmond Police Explorer Post 110, The Richmond Fire Youth Academy, the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Chevron, Mechanics Bank, the Richmond Police Officer’s Association, Richmond Firefighters Local 188, the Richmond Police Chaplins, City of Richmond Community Services, the Richmond Crime Prevention Board, RichMinds Network, Summit Medical volunteers, and many others,” for making this event possible.