Cumberland's 'Happy Basket' program relies on community support

Cumberland's 'Happy Basket' program relies on community support

CUMBERLAND - The Cumberland "Happy Basket" program is seeking donations of food and toys and looking for volunteers to help with assembling the baskets.

The program, which delivered its first baskets in 1992, has distributed more than 10,000 baskets over the past 21 years, says organizer John Johnson. If the community comes through again this year, he says, approximately 350 children will receive donations of food and gifts this holiday season.

Specifically, gifts, toys and clothes are needed for children ages infant to 13 years old. All donations should be unwrapped to aid volunteers in distribution.

Donations can be dropped off at the Cumberland Senior Center or Cumberland Public Library, both located at The Monastery, 1464 Diamond Hill Road; and the Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland-Lincoln at 1 James J. McKee Way.

Along with toys, items needed include canned or jarred gravy, dressing mix, canned vegetables and canned goods of all kinds as well as bread and rolls. Cash contributions are also needed to purchase turkeys.

Checks should be made payable to "The Happy Basket Program" and mailed to P.O. Box 7611; Cumberland, RI 02864.

Anyone wishing to volunteer a few hours sorting donations, wrapping gifts and assembling baskets is asked to call Johnson or Lee Drury at 401-334-2555 at the Cumberland Senior Center. The annual gift wrapping party will be Saturday, Dec. 14 starting at 9 a.m., and food baskets will be assembled on Tuesday Dec. 17 at 6 p.m., both at the Senior Center.

To adopt a child or children to fulfill individual wishes call Johnson 487-1282 or e-mail hbprogram@gmail.com .