'Christmas in Richmond' charity donations way down this year


This family personifies the spirit of Christmas. Thanks to them, a meeting room in a Richmond hotel fills with gifts every Christmas. It looks like a lot of toys, but they were hoping for more.

It would appear to be a Christmas dream come true -- a donated room in Richmond's Courtyard Marriott is overflowing with presents. All of them were given to Edna Campbell and her family to be passed through them.

"This is not about us. It's not about our family. It's about just giving back," said Campbell.

Through actions, good deeds and some heavy lifting, Campbell, her daughter Burgundy Spiers and the rest of the family spent Tuesday morning transferring hundreds of gifts downstairs to a meeting room. On Christmas Eve that is where they and friends will organize, wrap and prepare to give all of the toys away to people of Richmond in need.

"Our family has been on the others side as well. It's a blessing to now be in the position to be able to be a blessing," said Spiers.

Just eight years ago, in 2006, Campbell and her family were in foreclosure and about to become homeless. They were feeling bad for themselves. At that point Spiers sat her down and said this is a perfect time not to grieve, but to give.

"Well to take the focus off of what we were going through, reaching out and helping somebody else, kind of shifted what we were going through. So we thought less of what we were going through by helping someone else," said Campbell.

That was the beginning of this family charity called Christmas in Richmond. Now they have not only have gifts to give out on Christmas, but they will feed some 800 people.

When Campbell found out she needed more cooks this year, she somehow convinced Hometown Buffett to donate hundreds of meals and at a local Chevy's restaurant, Campbell merely asked general manager Rachel Vab Wey for a discount to supplement her own money. The amount the Chevy's restaurant charged her was a penny.

And yet, there is a downside here. Even amidst the generosity, compared with other years donations in 2013 have dropped way down. In previous years, they have filled this place.

"Well I am trusting and believing that the overflow is on the way. It's late, but I believe it is still coming," said Campbell.

If you don't already see it, Campbell is a woman of faith. She'll be waiting for the means to pull it all off, even if it takes all night.

They'll be collecting those toys until 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve at the Hilltop Marriott in Richmond.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.