Bridging RVA’s Community Christmas is Positively Richmond

Bridging RVA is planning the first Community Christmas that has been held in the area in a couple of years. (Pictured left to right: John Sawyer, Christy Ellis and Dave Kennedy)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Bridging RVA is planning the area’s first community Christmas dinner in a couple of years.

“We want to include anyone that needs a place to go for Christmas,” says John Sawyer, Bridging RVA’s Board Chairman.

This event is meant to fill a void left when Freedom House closed its doors in 2013.  The shelter had hosted a holiday gathering for decades, but it ended when the operation shut down.

Christy Ellis used to coordinate the Freedom House dinner.

“Joy and music and laughter and  smiling faces, young and old,” Ellis describes what she expects to see at Bridging RVA’s inaugural dinner.  “It’s not just for the needy or the homeless, it’s for anyone that wants to go and be a part of something and celebrate and not be alone.”

Sawyer says Plant Zero Cafe in Manchester donated a banquet room for the occasion.  Volunteers will provide sentiment over a shared experience.

Manchester's Plant Zero Cafe will host the Bridging RVA Community Christmas Day Celebration.
Manchester’s Plant Zero Cafe will host the Bridging RVA Community Christmas Day Celebration.

“Friends become better friends, neighbors become friends, co-workers become friends, and it’s all about connecting people that way,” Sawyer explains.

Food, fellowship, toys for children and more will be included to make it a special day for everyone involved.

“I’m like a kid all over again waiting for this to happen,” Bridging RVA Board Member Dave Kennedy says with a smile.

He hopes the dinner is a gift to the entire Richmond community.  “We get to do this together, and that’s what is going to be so great about it.”

Bridging RVA needs about 300 volunteers for the Community Christmas Day celebration.  Sign up or make a donation by following this link.

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