Amy Antone

At left, Amy Antone, president and founder of Cuddles of Hope.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Cuddles of Hope will be collecting donations to provide necessities and Christmas gifts to children in foster care and in low-income families.

Cuddles of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit organization previously dedicated to comforting children by providing them with stuffed animals, decided to extend their reach this holiday season.

Amy Antone, the president and founder of Cuddles of Hope, decided to partner with Adoption Rhode Island and St. Joseph’s Hospital last year, after coming across an article about how foster children use garbage bags to transport their personal belongings.

Antone started Cuddles of Hope in 2018 with her husband, Nathan Antone, and her father, Charles Gibney.

They began by collecting and donating stuffed animals and coloring materials for children at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. After partnering with Adoption Rhode Island, Antone began collecting backpacks for children in foster care.

Antone filled the backpacks with blankets, toiletries, and stuffed animals. Around Christmas time she saw that the organizations were conducting a drive to help provide more items for the children, and decided to help them out with their holiday drive. Already partnering with Adoption RI, she also decided to help St. Joseph’s Hospital by partnering with them as well.

Antone said that each year, St. Joseph’s Hospital holds a Christmas party for the children they serve who are in low-income families.

“There is always a need and we are looking to supply as much as we can so that all the children can have a good Christmas and receive a gift this year,” Antone said.

They are currently asking for any toys, games, personal hygiene items, and clothing for the winter, such as hats, gloves, and jackets. They are also accepting monetary donations.

According to Antone, they are currently in the most need of toy donations due to them splitting donations between St. Joseph’s Hospital and Adoption RI.

“Any of the monetary donations we receive we are putting toward getting the items that we need more of toward the end,” Antone said. “We’ve had a really successful year and with the Christmas drive we have already seen so many items come in, it has already exceeded my expectations.”

Donations are being accepted at the North Providence Police Department at 1835 Mineral Spring Ave, and Sweet Deliveries Bakery at 2242 Mineral Spring Ave. For those unable to go to a donation location, Cuddles of Hope is working to pick up donations.

Donations are accepted until Dec. 5. For questions, Antone can be reached by email: Amy.antone@cuddlesofhope. Monetary donations can be made through givebutter.com/cohchristmas.

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