RICHMOND -- Christmas in Richmond is a tradition that since 2005 has delivered food, presents and warm clothing to the city's destitute on Christmas Day.

The effort, which now has nonprofit 501(c)(3) status, was started by Burgundie Spears, then a college student who wanted to give back to her community.

Spears, her mother, Edna Campbell, and sister, Aaliyah Washington, have continued the tradition of devoting their Christmas to helping others, but they are making a last-minute appeal for community assistance to make this year's event possible.

Donations are lacking because of the tight economy, they said.

This year's distribution will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Richmond Senior Center and at the Nevin Community Center.

For those who want to help, "Bring toys, new or lightly warn clothing, shoes or coats to the Courtyard Marriott, 3150 Garrity Way in Richmond," Campbell said. "If you would like to volunteer, we are working from 8 a.m. to midnight up until Christmas Day."

The Christmas in Richmond website is www.christmasinrichmond.org.