‘Tis the season for giving, and there is no shortage of local organizations looking for help. Consider adopting a local family for Christmas gift-giving or donate to your neighborhood soup kitchen. No matter how you choose to help, here are some local ideas to get you started:
- For the past 30 years, the Cumberland Happy Basket Program has come together to ensure that families in need in Cumberland receive food baskets and toys over the holidays. Food, new toys and clothes, and financial contributions can be dropped off at the Cumberland Senior Center, located at the Monastery, 1464 Diamond Hill Road, through Wednesday, Dec. 15. Checks should be made payable to “The Happy Basket Program” and mailed to P.O. Box 7611, Cumberland, RI 02864. With the ongoing pandemic, volunteers will not be used this year. For more information, call John Johnson at 401-487-1282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Lincoln Town Hall, 100 Old River Road, is accepting applications for Holiday Baskets through Nov. 19. The deadline for collecting donated gifts and food is Dec. 15. Items can be dropped off at Town Hall, the Senior Center and the Lincoln Public Library. Town Hall hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, contact Peggy Weigner at 401-333-8431 or email email@example.com .
- YWCA Rhode Island, 514 Blackstone St., Woonsocket, is collecting mittens and other new warm clothing for their Mitten Tree. With the ongoing pandemic, parents are no longer allowed in the building or able to choose their own mittens. For more information, call 401-769-7450.
Woonsocket Adopt-A-Family is looking for donors to “adopt” the wish list of a child in need from Woonsocket. All donation information is on their website, woonsocketadoptafamily.org
- , as well as information on becoming a volunteer. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 401-766-2291.
- New Beginnings in Woonsocket serves lunch to those in need every Monday through Thursday, from noon to 1 p.m. The group accepts everything from clothing, food supplies, and services to volunteers. To get involved or for more information, email email@example.com or call 401-356-4066. Monetary gifts to the kitchen are accepted and can be mailed to New Beginnings at 323 Rathbun St., Woonsocket, RI 02895 or P.O. Box 1555, Woonsocket RI 02895.
- The North Smithfield Food Pantry is open to North Smithfield residents and members of the Slatersville Congregational Church, 25 Green St. The hours of operation are the last two Tuesday evenings of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. and the last two Saturday mornings of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. Their Food Rescue Program helps feed hundreds each week. For the past three years they have hosted a Stop Hunger Now event where members of the congregation prepare packaged meals for people in need. The Missions Committee and Congregation provide holiday meal baskets for local families each year. To donate or for more information, call 401-769-2777.
- The Northern Rhode Island Food Pantry relies on donations and grants in order to continue operating. Cash donations, monthly pledge donations, and directed food drives are its highest needs. Donations may be made by cash or check to: The Northern RI Food Pantry, PO Box 7833, Cumberland, RI 02864. If you would like an acknowledgment of your donation for tax purposes, include a request with your donation, or donate online at www.nrifoodpantry.org. The Pantry continues to offer both drive-thru and indoor options. If you would like to use the drive-thru, go between 8 and 9:30 a.m. If you want to go inside and choose your own items, go between 9:30 and 11 a.m.
- The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Rhode Islander who, because of financial difficulty, needs assistance paying a current energy expense and meets eligibility guidelines. It is administered by United Way of Rhode Island. Donations come from the general public, businesses and local community organizations. Contributions to
the Fund qualify as 501(c)(3)tax-exempt dona
- tions. To donate or for more information, visit unitedwayri.org .
- Comprehensive Community Action Program has announced its 2021 Adopt-a-Family program for the holidays. A $300-$400 donation to the program adopts an entire family. Donations in other amounts are also appreciated, or you can adopt a list and buy everything on that list for a particular person or family. The deadline to donate is Dec. 10, but may be accepted until Dec. 15. Make checks payable to Comprehensive Community Action and send to 311 Doric Ave., Cranston, R.I. 02910, attention Joanne Gregory. Visit www.ComCap.org or call 401-467-9610.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State is seeking donations of gently used clothing and small household items. Monetary donations will help raise funding to support BBBSOS’s mentoring programs for boys and girls throughout the state. For more information, call 401-921-2434 or visit www.bbbsos.org . A list of drop-off locations is available on the organization’s website. Donors may also call for free home pickup.
- Keep the Heat On, a program administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, is raising money to benefit families struggling to pay their heating bills, especially during COVID-19. To mail a donation, send a check to Keep the Heat On, Diocese of Providence, 1 Cathedral Square, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, or visit www.heatri.com.
- U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys for children in need. Donations are now collected year-round at various locations throughout the state or online. For a drop-off location near you, visit www.toysfortots.org .
- Locally, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island helps homeless and at-risk veterans obtain housing and other assistance, including health and wellness, employment and training, case management, and basic human needs. People interested in helping Operation Stand Down R.I. may donate nonperishable food items at its facility at 1010 Hartford Ave. in Johnston, where the organization operates a veteran’s food pantry. OSDRI also accepts toiletries, clothing, and monetary donations. Gift cards for food and gas in the amounts of $10, $20 and $25 are also needed. The group can be reached at 401-383-4730 or
- . You may also donate online.
- Woonsocket Knights of Columbus Council #113 and the Rhode Island State Knights of Columbus have partnered with Big Blue Bug Solutions. As part of Operation ROVAC, Council #113 is collecting new items to be distributed to 200 people at the R.I. Veterans Home in Bristol, through Dec. 10. Donations of new winter hats, gloves, and scarves, pants, khakis, jeans, long-sleeve flannel shirts, flannel button down pajamas, undershirts, sweatpants and flannel pants, button down sweaters, fleece and vests, winter jackets, handkerchiefs, belts, suspenders, shoes/sneakers (sizes 8 through 12.5), slippers with backs and rubber bottoms, word find/search books (large print only), puzzles, decks of playing cards, DVDs, and toiletries including Dove soap, Irish Spring soap, body wash, shampoo, stick deodorant, shaving cream, cologne/perfume, toothpaste, and tooth brushes will be accepted.