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2008 Community Giving

Please add 2009 Community giving events here.

During the holiday season, I am reminded how important community is (which to me includes friends, family, neighbors, businesses, and schools, just to name a few). Although community giving can happen any time of year, the holidays provide an opportunity or a reminder for us think a little less about ourselves and more about others. I know in my sons’ school that the gift of volunteering and donations of simple things like markers, books, and Kleenex are always welcome. And I believe it’s essential to make sure that families have warm winter coats and boots to wear and sufficient food to eat.

Lunch fro Crossroads

This holiday season, many more people will feel the pinch from tough economic times. When giving time or money becomes more difficult, even a little bit can mean a lot to someone else. In our family we are revaluating what we buy this year and thinking more about how we can help others. Our family makes a point of volunteering our time, donating to those in need, making some of our gifts, buying local and buying handmade whenever possible, and this year is no exception. We hope this tradition will be embraced by our children so they will learn the value of caring for others and helping people we may not even know.

Our friends, Jason and Ilira at Rag and Bone Bindery helped out the hungry at Crossroads this summer by making 250 bagged lunches (pictured above) with their daughter. If you and your family are looking for ways to give, here is a list below of charitable community places seeking holiday donations or volunteers this holiday season. If you would like to be added to the list, please supply your information in the comments section below.

Bradford Jonnycake Center (website)
NEED: monetary donations for its Heating Assistance Fund and food pantry. They also seek volunteers to “adopt a family” for the holiday. Donations of new, unwrapped toys would also be appreciated.
HOW: Checks should be mailed to P.O. Box 273, Bradford, RI 02808. Call ahead to schedule donations during business hours. This center is located at 23 Industrial Drive, Westerly, RI. Call Annie Burns at (401) 377-8069.

Camp Street Community Ministries (website)
NEED: This organization seek toys, books, games, and tights for children from 1 to 16, and toiletries, stationery, and trinkets for men and women.
HOW: The group is located at 194 Camp Street, Providence, RI 02906. Monetary donations can be mailed to PO Box 603021, Providence, RI 02906. Call (401) 421-5474.

Capital City Community Centers (website)
This organization is a non-profit social organization to help people in need.
NEED: The “Adopt-a-Family” program seeks monetary donations and donors to purchase gifts and holiday necessities for local families in need.
HOW: Donations can be dropped off at 110 Ruggles Street, Providence, RI through December 3. Call Suzanne Alden at (401) 455-3880, ext.252 or e-mail salden@capcities.org for more information.

Child and Family Services of Newport (website)
NEED: This agency seeks donors who would like to adopt one of the client families for gifts and a holiday meal. Donors choose the size of the family.
HOW: Gifts must be delivered to the agency on December 18 or 19. Call Martha Parks at (401) 848-4210.

Children’s Friend (website)
This agency matches sponsors with families for whom they will buy gifts and wrapping materials to be delivered to the agency on a designated date at 153 Summer Street, Providence, RI 02903.
NEED: Cash donations for gift certificates to grocery and department stores, plus new coats, hats, gloves, socks, underwear, and toys for children newborn to 15 years old. Those unable to sponsor a family can still help by making a donation to the Emergency Crisis Fund or for the Programs in most need.  Other cash donations may be made for the Holiday Drive to provide gifts to those families who have not been sponsored.
HOW: Checks should be made payable to Children’s Friend and mailed to Att: Joyce Tormey, Children’s Friend at the address listed above. For more information, call Joyce Tormey at (401) 276-4318.

The Cumberland Happy Basket Program
This program provides holiday baskets of food for families in need.
NEED: Canned and/or packaged foods, money for food, gift certificates for turkeys, toys, and gifts for older children, and new clothes for infants and children up to age 14. Food baskets are assembled for Christmas, and toys and clothing are distributed during the holiday season.
HOW: Donations may be dropped off at the Cumberland Senior Center, 1464 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI 02864. Monetary donations may be sent to The Happy Basket Program, PO Box 7611, Cumberland, RI 02864. Call John Johnson at (401) 427-2828 or Lori Gagnon at (401) 334-2555.

The Department of Human Services in Foster
This agency will provide Christmas baskets to assist families during the holidays.
NEED: Monetary donations, gift certificates to the movies, toy stores, video stores, drug stores, McDonalds/Burger King, pizza restaurants, etc.
HOW: Donations should be sent to the Dept. of Human Services, 181 Howard Hill Road, Foster, RI 02825, ATTN: Nancy Johnston, director. For more information, call (401) 392-9208.

Feed a Friend Food Pantry (website)
The Dr. Martin Luther King Community Center, 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd., Newport, RI, runs a year-round food pantry.
NEED: nonperishable food items for the holiday season

Interfaith Community Dire Emergency Fund
This interdenominational organization seeks to assist families and individuals in need of utility, heating, prescription and rental assistance.
NEED: Monetary donations
HOW: Send donations to Interfaith Community Dire Emergency Fund, 184 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02903-4029. For more information, call (401) 421-7833, ext. 107.

H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Exist)
NEED: New winter clothing, gifts for toddlers to teens, gift certificates, cash donations, food baskets, new underwear in all sizes, warm hats and gloves, and store gift certificates.
HOW: Call Sil or Val at (401) 943-3987.

Helping Other People in Emergencies
NEED: Toys, food baskets, new toys, cash donations, gift certificates, and new winter clothing.
HOW: Call Kay at (401) 521-0706.

Judy’s Kindness Kitchen (website)
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen is a Sunday soup kitchen. Food is prepared at Congregation Beth Sholom on the East Side of Providence and is served at Crossroads Rhode Island in downtown Providence. Children ages 8-12 can also participate in the children’s program which runs every Sunday 9:30-10:30. With the assistance of a children’s supervisor, the children make and pack sandwiches.
NEED: Volunteers for an hour or two on Sunday mornings in December and more needed for Sundays in 2009.
HOW: Contact David Mandelbaum at David_Mandelbaum@brown.edu
Located at Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp Street, Providence RI.

Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale (website)
NEED: Gently worn fall and winter clothing, household items, small furniture, accessories, band-aids, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent. On Saturday mornings, they accept books, toys, DVDs, and electronics. The food pantry is always in need of canned foods, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, soups, canned sauce, deodorant, shampoo, holiday foods.
HOW: For more information, call (401) 789-1559, ext. 17.

Keep the Heat On (website)
This program–established by Thomas J. Tobin, the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, provides heating assistance for struggling individuals and families who have exhausted all other public and private means.
NEED: Monetary donations. The program is supported by generous donors and is matched–dollar for dollar–up to $75,000 per year with a matching grant from the Diocese of Providence’s Catholic Charity fund.
HOW: To make a donation, send a check with a notation “keep the heat on” to the Interfaith Dire Emergency Fund, 184 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02903.

The Kent Center’s Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays Program (website)
NEED: The agency seeks individuals, families, and businesses to “adopt” Kent Center families facing mental health challenges and financial difficulties.
HOW: Call The Kent Center’s Office of Youth and Family Services at (401) 691-6000, ext. 327.

Kids In Need Holiday Drive (website)
NEED: Toys, games, and books being collected for children living in local domestic violence shelters.
HOW: All Verizon Wireless Communications stores will serve as drop-off points for the Kids In Need Holiday Drive through December 15. All items collected will be donated to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence six member agencies including the Elizabeth Buffum Chace House, Women’s Resource Center of South County, Women’s Resource Center of Newport and Bristol Counties, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Soujourner House and the Women’s Center of Rhode Island.

New Life Worship Center Food Pantry
NEED: Grocery gift certificates, nonperishable food items, diapers, toilet paper, bars of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, new toys, and new coats for Christmas.
HOW: Call Carol at (401) 944-1608.

McAuley House
This outreach organization and meal center is located at 622 Elmwood Avenue in Providence. Based on the values that every person is deserving of respect and attention, the McAuley House seeks to provide a hospitable environment for anyone who seeks it.
NEED: This organization seeks cash donations, gift certificates to grocery and drug stores, toiletries, men’s sneakers and work boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, and warm hats, gloves, and socks.
HOW: The house is at 622 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02907. Call Rev. Mary Margaret Earl at (401) 941-9013, ext. 302.

The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund (website)
This fund helps Rhode Island families in temporary crisis who do not qualify for state or federal energy assistance
NEED: Monetary donations
HOW: Checks or money orders can be made payable to Good Neighbor and sent to the Salvation Army, 20 Miner Street, Providence, RI 02905. Call (401) 421-0956

Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Toys for Tots Event
Anyone bringing a new, unwrapped toy to the Pawtucket branch of the DMV, Apex Building, 100 Main Street, through Friday, December 7, during regular business hours will receive a “DMV SpeedPass” allowing them immediate service at any DMV branch office for one time only. Passes will be numbered and void if copied or scanned.
NEED: Unwrapped toys
HOW: Come Friday, December 7, at 2 p.m. to the Pawtucket branch of the DMV with an unwrapped toy.

Rhode Island Family Shelter
This organization serves as a temporary emergency family shelter.
NEED: Monetary donations, gift certificates, and gifts for adults.
HOW: For more information, call (401) 739-8584.

Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (website)
This statewide organization is run by and for survivors of domestic violence.
NEED: Volunteers to “adopt” families for the holidays, prepaid phone cards, and gift certificates to local supermarkets and department stores.
HOW: Call Carmen at (401) 467-9940 for more information.

St. Mary’s Home for Children (website)
The state’s most comprehensive residential treatment facility for neglected and abused children seeks donations to help the children at Christmas.
NEED: Monetary donations
HOW: Call Susan DeRita at (401) 353-3900, ext. 262, or e-mail sderita@smhfc.org.

St. Michael’s Christmas Magic
The Church of St. Michael the Archangel is located at 239 Oxford Street, Providence, RI.
NEED: Cash donations and volunteers to shop, sort, and deliver gifts for those in need during the holiday season.
HOW: Checks should be made payable to Saint Michael’s. For more information, call Sister Joyce Flowers or Sister Ann Keefe at (401) 781-7210.

SSTARBIRTH (website)
This is a residential program for women recovering from substance abuse and their children.
NEED: Toys, clothing for women and children, grocery certificates, and cash donations as well as volunteers willing to “adopt” a family for the holiday season.
HOW: The program is at 80 East Street, Cranston, RI 02920. Call Diana Inman at (401) 463-6001weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus
This organization seeks toys and clothing for teenagers by Saturday, December 15, to distribute to children in the Mount Hope section Providence at its Christmas party on Saturday, December 22. They also seek monetary donations and nonperishable food items for its food pantry, which is open the first and third Fridays of each month.
NEED: Toys, clothing, monetary donations, nonperishable food items.
HOW: Send checks made payable to St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Name to 99 Camp Street, Providence, RI 02906. For information, call Eric at (401) 440-2981.

Sweet Dreams for Sojourner House
This organization provides homes for the survivors of domestic violence and their children.
NEED: New pillows and new or gently used twin sheets, blankets, comforters, pajamas, slippers, and children’s books
HOW: Saturday, December 6, 2008 at The Met Center, Liberty Building, 325 Public Street, Providence, RI, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. All donors will receive breakfast and pastries as gratitude for their service. This event is organized by InFocus. For further information, please email us at info@infocusri.com or call Rachel at (401) 487-7501.

Toys for Tots
This annual program, administered by the U.S. Marine Corps, is in need of donations. NEED: Unwrapped new and like-new toys and clothing
HOW: Drops can be made at Cardi’s Furniture Superstores during regular showroom hours. There will also be a special Drive Thru Toy Drive with the U.S. Marines December 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Swansea, West Warwick, and South Attleboro stores.

Turning Point (website)
This organization serves adolescent males in group care settings.
NEED: Gift certificates and monetary donations
HOW: Mail them to Turning Point, 209 Cottage Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860. For more information, call Scott Cummings at (401) 728-1030.

West Warwick JAYCEES of Kent County
NEED: Monetary donations, gift certificates, and volunteers for the Holiday Helping Fund and CHANGE CHARITIES/Candycane Exchange programs.
HOW: Donations may be sent to JAYCEE Holiday Fund, PO Box 348, West Warwick, RI 02893. For more information, call (401) 828-9191 or e-mail wwjayceeskc@aol.com


Feinstein Annual Challenge
The Feinstein Foundation’s $100,000 challenge grant matches your donations to a number of needy organizations that help end hunger. Donations made to any local nonprofit agency through December 31 will be matched by the Feinstein Foundation with its fund of $100,000. If the total raised from the challenge exceeds $100,000, as is expected, a maximum amount of $10,000 will be set for any one participating agency. The rest of the $100,000 will be divided proportionately among all participating agencies. For an organization to receive matching money, it must send proof of its tax-exempt status (or affiliation with a tax-exempt group) with a typed letter bearing the organization’s full name and address. The letter must cite the total amount of money raised from November 1 through December 31. Only money or food value raised from use of the Feinstein challenge should be reported. (Food items should be valued at $1 per item or pound.) Send the letter during the first week of January to: The Feinstein Foundation, 37 Alhambra Circle, Cranston, RI 02905.

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  • Hi. Have you tried applying for SNAP at DHS on Elmwood Avenue yet? This would help with food on a monthly basis. They would also be eligible for WIC until they are 5. Of course all of this is affected by the current government shutdown but I would still apply. Families who receive SNAP are eligible for presents during the holidays as well. I would apply soon because the registration for the presents happens soon. You would get a date, location, and time to pick out the presents. Further, there are many food pantries and kitchens in the Providence area. I know that Camp Street Ministries provides Thanksgiving baskets. Have you been to their food pantry on Saturday mornings? You should go this week to register for a turkey. They have had these in the past, not sure when they take names for turkeys so you should go soon. You could also try the food pantry at Saint Raymond’s Church. Again, I don’t know when you have to register for the basket. They are on North Main Street. You could find phone numbers and addresses for these places online. If I find anything else or remember anything else, I will post it here.

  • Hello, i recently got guardianship of my 2 grand daughters,ages 3 &4, and i am seeking help with thanksgiving baskets and christmas toys. we are struggeling to make ends meet we are a low-income family. was woundering if you can guide me in the right direction? Thank you.

    Where Arctic Villlage Business District 1170 Main Street W. Warwick, RI

    Town/City (RI) West Warwick
    State RI
    Intended Audience General
    Organized by (Org Name) Kent County JAYCEES, Friends of the Greenway & Arctic Village Association
    Group Homepage http://www.kentcountyjaycees.org
    Contact Jack Lancellotta, Ronnie Holloway & Dave Legault
    Contact email wwjAYCEESkc@aol.com
    Volunteer Opportunity Yes
    Certification and Licensing No
    Cost N/A

  • It’s a wonderful time of year to help our kids understand the value of serving our community. And so many options on your list, thanks for sharing it!

  • Here is a list of places that need help preparing or serving holiday meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. See details below. Keep in mind, some of these places welcome volunteers all year-round not just at the holidays. (Thanks for putting this together Elyse!)

    Bristol Good Neighbors needs help on Tuesday, 11/25 (East Bay only)
    378 Hope Street, Bristol
    Cotact: Janet Stephenson at 254-0726

    St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen needs help on Monday, 11/24 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    5 Mann Avenue, Newport
    Contact:James Martin at 847-0065

    Salvation Army-Newport needs help on Sunday, 11/23 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12/21 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    51 Memorial Blvd., Newport
    Contact: Capt. Charles Adams at 846-3234

    Amos House needs help on Wednesday, 11/26 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    415 Friendship Street, Providence
    Contact: Maggie Meany at 272-0220 ext. 217

    McAuley House needs help on Thursday, 11/27 at St. Michael’s
    622 Elmwood Avenue, Providence
    Contact: Sister Julie Tremblay at 941-9013

    St. Charles SVDP needs help on Thursday, 11/20 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Thursday, 12/18 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    178 Dexter Street, Providence
    Contact: Joan Zompa at 273-1108

    Salvation Army – Providence needs help on Sunday, 11/23 from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
    386 Broad Street, Providence
    Contact: Capt. Stephen Carroll at 831-1119

    Mary House needs help on Tuesday, 11/25 11:15 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at St. Patrick’s
    244 Smith Street, Providence
    Contact: Lucille Capaldi 274-6286 ext. 3

    W.A.R.M. Shelter needs help on Thursday, 11/27
    56 Spruce Street, Westerly
    Contact: Bob Shea at 596-9276

  • This list is great! One more–Tap-In in the library building in Barrington is open 9-noon daily. You can receive OR drop off food, toys, children’s clothing, and sometimes furniture.

  • The length of this list is staggering–so many people in need! Yesterday I was at the Community Food Share at the Unitarian church on Benevolent Street (I was not even helping–just passing through) and it was much more crowded than I had ever seen it–elderly people, kids, everyone speaking many languages, looking very worried.

    I love what you’re doing.

    We’re a non-profit family friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration that features local artists and makes New Year’s Eve fun for families. We started after First Night Providence failed, and have been going strong since. We feature over 160 performers in 22 venues throughout downtown Providence. This is our sixth year!

    NEED: Monetary donations to help us extend our free ticket program to needy families and to continue our tradition of keeping New Year’s Bright in Providence. Also, volunteers for New Year’s Eve to help keep the shows running smoothly.

    HOW: visit http://www.brightnight.org for more info on how to donate or volunteer. To volunteer, you can also email volunteering@brightnight.org