Thursday, November 24, 2016
In Rhode Island, where today we can all give thanks for the ongoing surprise of the country's liveliest experiment. On good days and on bad, in rich times and in lean, we prosper from the hustle-bustle of close quarters and share each others' wins and losses.
In Rhode Island, where we have just one degree of separation from one another win can help each other when we fall and challenge each other to be better.
We are small, indomitable, and should be thankful for the riches we possess.
Happy Thanksgiving, Rhode Island.
Related Slideshow: 50 Ways to Give in Rhode Island - 2016
New Urban Arts
What could be better than supporting an organization that helps inner-city kids develop their creativity? New Urban Arts does just that.
How important is this program? According to New Urban Arts, 500 high school students, 25 emerging artists and over 3,000 visitors benefit through youth programs, professional development workshops, artist residencies, public performances, and exhibitions.
New Urban Arts make a difference by helping youth:
- develop positive relationships with non-parental adult mentors and peers
- acquire standards-based skills & knowledge in the arts
- begin to develop their unique artistic voice
- graduate high school on a path towards post-secondary success
The Confetti Foundation
For kids, being in hospitals for any length of time is difficult -- and being there for an extended period of time and missing birthday parties is one of toughest parts.
The Confetti Foundation brings the birthday parties to kids in the hospital. Make a donation HERE.
How important is it? As of August 2016, they have celebrated 1480 birthdays, in 43 states, and 141 hospitals!
The Confetti Foundation makes a difference by:
- donating party supplies to hospitalized kids
- throwing birthday parties for hospitalized kids
The Matty Fund
Living with Epilepsy can be hard on kids and families.
The Matty Fund helps those who are living with the disease have a better life. Donate HERE.
The organization was named one of the top non profits of 2016 by greatnonprofits.org.
The Matty Fund makes a difference by:
- providing resources and raising awareness
- promoting patient safety
- working to improve the quality of life for children and families
Gaits of Harmony Therapeutic Riding
There a number of great organizations using horses to help people overcome their lives challenges, and Gaits of Harmony is one of those.
Gaits of Harmony provides people of all ages with chances to educate, enrich and empower themselves in order to overcome challenges of their daily lives through interaction with horses.
It serves thirty clients and involves members of the community all helping clients overcome their own individual challenges.
Gaits of Harmony was named one of the top non profits of 2016 by greatnonprofits.org.
Gaits of Harmony Therapeutic Riding makes a difference by:
- therapeutic riding - riding lessons adapted to the ability of the rider in individual or group lessons
- Hippotherapy - a form of physical, occupational or speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. Offered as private lessons
- interactive vaulting - fosters teamwork, teaches respect for the horse, fosters independence, builds confidence and encourages social interaction. Lesson is both mounted and un-mounted. Offered only as group lessons
Plan International USA, Inc.
If you're concerned about children beyond this country's borders, improving the lives of kids and families all around the world is something you can do this holiday season.
Plan International has been working to break the cycle of child poverty for more than 75 years and in over 50 countries. The programs help millions of kids and their families escape poverty over the world.
Plan International was named one of the top nonprofits of 2016 by greatnonprofits.org.
Plan International makes a difference by:
- strengthening health care systems
- advocating for better protection
- working to break the cycle of child poverty
Ronald McDonald House of Providence
There is nothing more important to parents and families than being as close to their kids as possible while they are in the hospital. Help more families be close to their kids, donate HERE.
Every year, more than 250 families stay at the House while an additional 1,200 enjoy the Family Room. Both rooms are designed to keep families close during hospitalizations.
The Ronald McDonald House makes a difference by:
- providing a safe and caring environment to families with children at hospitals
Rare Disease United Foundation
Rare diseases are just that -- rare, meaning if a person has one, it is easy for them to feel alone with no support. Who wants to be alone? Help support those with rare diseases -- and their families -- by donating HERE.
According to the foundation, 7,000 rare diseases exist and 30 million Americans have them.
The Rare Disease United Foundation makes a difference by:
- providing support to those in need
- raising awareness for specific diseases
Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue
Having a rabbit for a pet is tougher than it looks.
The goal of Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue is to end euthanasia of rabbits in city shelters, and find them quality homes for those surrendered to shelters. Make a donation HERE.
The facility has a 1800 sq. ft. shelter to provide sanctuary to the rabbits until they are placed.
Sweet Binks Rabbit Rescue makes a difference by:
- educating the public on proper care, housing, diet, and behavior concerning rabbits as pets
- finding rabbits quality homes
Be The Change Sunday Meal
Helping the homeless is always a priority, but they come more into focus with the arrival of the winter season. Help out the homeless this holiday season by making a donation HERE.
Be the Change Sunday Meal was named one of the great nonprofits of 2016 by greatnonprofits.org.
Be The Change Sunday Meal makes a difference by:
- serving Sunday meals
- collecting and distributing items of need (coats, socks, food) to the homeless
RI Dream Center
Sometimes all it takes to turn someone's day or life around is giving them a little bit of hope. And a Rhode Island nonprofit is working to do just that. Make a donation HERE.
In 2015, the RI Dream Center provided more than 38,000 meals and gave out over 17,000 pounds of clothing to the homeless on the streets.
The RI Dream Center makes a difference by:
- providing food, clothing and living supplies
- holding addiction meetings and giving referrals
Project Goal Inc.
Soccer is one of the few sports that are truly global. No matter where you are, nearly everyone knows how to play it.
Project Goal currently operates after-school programs for sixth, seventh and eight grade children from Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls every Monday and Friday.
Project Goal Inc. makes a difference by:
- combining the benefits of academic achievement with the motivation and self-discipline of sports
- promoting educational opportunity
- combating growing problems of illiteracy, school delinquency, adolescent crime and obesity
Newport Public Education Foundation
School is supposed to be fun, at least a little bit, and the Newport Public Education Foundation works to take care of that. Help make school fun by donating HERE.
How important are they? The Foundation provides funds and support for music programs, field trips and more by annually awarding $20,000 in grants.
Newport Public Education Foundation makes a difference by:
- supporting programs and services that address district-wide educational needs and enhance student learning
- fostering community volunteerism in the schools
- encouraging a community dialogue addressing school district-wide educational issues
- raising funds to support our current programs and to establish a strong financial foundation that will permit future expansion
- ensuring broad community participation in the organization and to create an organizational structure optimizing execution of all goals.
Children’s Wishes of RI
Everyone has a wish and for kids who are battling their own personal life challenges, those wishes can seem very distant at times. Help make kids wishes come true this holiday season by donating HERE.
Here is one of their most recent granted wishes:
"Johnnel is a 4 year old boy who is legally blind and wished for a bedroom/therapeutic room makeover. He lives in Central Falls with his mom, dad and siblings. His bedroom was re-done so that exercise mats were installed on the floors and walls. A hand rail was also installed on the wall to help Johnnel learn to walk, as well as a double “Dutch” door. All construction costs were donated by LOPCO Contracting of Providence."
Children's Wishes of RI makes a difference by:
- granting wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses between the ages of 2 1/2-18 years old
PHOTO: Children's Wishes of RI
Ocean State Theatre Company
Movies have become so advanced these days that it is easy to forget the coolness of going to see a play. Help the Ocean State Theatre Company keep theatre alive -- and bringing in students to learn more -- by making a donation HERE.
The Ocean State Theatre Company was originally founded to re-open the RI landmark known as Theatre By The Sea in 2007,
The Ocean State Theatre Company makes a difference by:
- producing a year-round mix of Broadway plays and Broadway musicals
- providing the community with classes and summer camp programs for kids age 6-15
The Wolf School
Everyone has different ways of learning and some have their struggles for any number of reasons. Supporting the education of children in need is a great way to give. Make donation HERE.
The Wolf School enrolls up to 60 children in six classrooms with 6-8 students per class in Lower School and up to 10 students per class in Middle School.
The Wolf School makes a difference by:
- utilizing an intensive and integrated model which allows children to discover their strengths and talents by meeting their academic, social and emotional needs
- having an individualized academic programming following grade level expectations
- having language based learning environment with sensory processing supports and social thinking skills immersed into the academic curriculum
Operation Support Our Troops
Imagine being thousands and thousands of miles away from friends and family, and on top of that needing to be ready to go to war at any moment. Support the troops by donating HERE.
Operation Support Our Troops gives those fighting for our freedom a sense of home.
You can even make a donation in honor of a soldier in your life.
Operation Support Our Troops makes a difference by:
- sending care packages to troops
- providing personal messages of support, as well as other home items that are not readily available.
Hope Funds for Cancer Research
The more researchers, the better chance of finding a cure for all types of cancer. Who doesn't want that? Make a donation HERE.
To date, Hope Funds for Cancer Research has completed funding of 14 fellowships, resulting in ten of these programs being published in top-tier journals and eight of these Fellows having already received faculty appointments.
In addition to these 14 completed fellowships, Hope Funds is currently funding 15 fellowships, with four of these having already been published.
The Hope Funds for Cancer Research makes a difference by:
- holding special events to help raise money for young researchers looking for fellowship opportunities
- honoring Hope Funds honors with an annual medal -- individuals or organizations who have made a significant impact to patient care
If you are concerned about the state's homeless during the holiday season, Crossroads RI is the largest homeless service organization in Rhode Island. Make a donation HERE.
Donate goods like baby diapers, non-perishable food items, and toiletries to the organization this year to help those who are homeless or at risk during these winter months.
Crossroads RI makes a difference by:
- providing housing, basic needs, and shelter
- assisting with case management, referrals, education and employment services
Rock Paper Scissors
Living in the United States, students and families often have access to music and art programs at schools and in the community. Those in other countries, like Vietnam, might not be as fortunate -- and there are organizations working to help them. Make a donation HERE.
Rock Paper Scissors Children's Fund supports music and art programs for children in Vietnam.
Or you can even donate a bike to children who often have to walk long distances to get to school.
Rock Paper Scissors makes a difference by:
- providing learning opportunities for young students through art and music programs
Part of the Oath
Attention to social and health issues among communities can be raised in many different ways. And raising the issues through the art of theatre, like Part of the Oath does, is one such way.
Help Part of the Oath keep their performances going by donating HERE.
Part of the Oath makes a difference by:
- empowering the Rhode Island community on health and social issues through the performing arts
A lot of people need help making ends meet, but not everyone qualifies for established agencies. That is where the Johnnycake Center comes in.
Help them end hunger by donating HERE.
The Johnnycake Center makes a difference by providing:
- emergency food pantry and emergency household items
- SNAP application assistance
- client service referrals
- school vacation breakfast and lunch programs, back to school supplies
- holiday meal programs
- senior food basket delivery
- pet food pantry
Sometimes it takes time to discover a passion, sometimes you just have to play around a bit, try different things. That is what FabNewport is all about. Help kids find their passions by donating HERE.
How important are they? FabNewport currently works with the East Bay Met School, the Newport Public Library, the Jamestown Arts Center, All Saints Academy, the Newport County Boys and Girls Clubs, the Jamestown Schools and area Home Schoolers.
FabNewport makes a difference by:
- encouraging students to discover their passions through play. Play means having time to fiddle, tinker and experiment with materials in encouraging environment supported by a coach
Books are Wings
Kids from low-income families, ethnic minority groups, and English- language learners are at the highest risk for lacking the fundamental tools that provide the basic building blocks for reading.
Books are Wings is trying to change that by providing FREE books. Help them out by making donation HERE.
At Books Are Wings Book Parties, kids read stories, discuss literature, spell their names and get FREE books to help their reading skills at home.
Books are Wings makes a difference by:
- providing children with FREE books needed in their homes to continue ongoing literacy efforts
Best Buddies Rhode Island
Best Buddies is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Make a donation HERE.
How important are they? Best Buddies has grown from one original chapter to almost 1,500 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Best Buddies programs engage participants in each of the 50 United States, and in 50 countries around the world.
Best Buddies makes a difference by:
- establishing a volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Domestic violence is an issue around the country and often times it takes time for victims to feel safe again.
Sojourner House, Inc. is a domestic violence agency that assists victims of relationship violence by providing shelter, advocacy and violence prevention education. Make a donation HERE.
Donate to their safe house wish list with items like toaster ovens, small tables, pillows, fitted sheets, and pots and pans for their residents.
Sojourner House makes a difference by:
- operating a 24-hour Help Line
- safe house shelter and transitional housing program
- free rapid HIV testing
- support and empowerment group and advocacy services
Photo: Sojourner House
RI Blood Center
Lets face it, everyone needs blood to live. Make a donation HERE.
The Blood Center is the only source of blood and blood products for the hospitals of Rhode Island while also serving Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Rhode Island Blood Center was established in 1979 as a non-profit community blood center.
The RI Blood Center makes a difference by:
- providing safe, plentiful & cost-effective blood supply
MAE Organization for the Homeless
MAE Organization is one of a number of groups working to alleviate homelessness in Rhode Island. Donate to MAE by clicking HERE.
How important are they? MAE currently provides hot meals, toiletries, shoes, bikes, tents to over 300 homeless and at risk individuals on the streets of Providence.
MAE makes a difference by providing:
- wellness programs, case management, job skills training
- counseling, treatment groups, and cognitive therapy
- facilitating drug and alcohol treatment
- mentoring programs and street outreach
Photo: MAE Organization for the Homeless
Operation Stand Down RI
Those who served and are serving our country more than deserve to live good lives when they return to the states. Help Operation Stand Down provide that by donating HERE.
You can also help by organizing food drives for their other locations.
Operation Stand Down supports veteran soldiers who have experienced hardship and homelessness in Rhode Island.
Operation Stand Down RI makes a difference by:
- helping struggling and homeless veterans by offering services and housing necessary to their well being
Rhode Island Food Bank
Give the gift of food during the holiday season by donating to the Rhode Island food bank. Click HERE to donate.
How important are they? Millions of pounds of donated food and nonfood household products are distributed into the community through their network of 250 member agency food programs in the state.
The RI Food Bank makes a difference by:
- providing multiple programs to ensure that Rhode Islanders have access to the nutritious food they need
- utilizing Pantry Express and Direct Delivery programs to efficiently distribute healthy foods to high-need communities
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center
From three-year-olds to adults, the MLK Community Center provides their clients with the tools and the knowledge that they need in order to reach their dreams. Help dreams come true by donating HERE.
The MLK Community Center is as impactful and meaningful to the 3 year old toddler entering his first day of preschool as it is to breakfast program clients who come daily for a nutritious meal shared with friends.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center makes a difference by:
- providing clients with the tools and the knowledge to reach their dreams
West Place Animal Sanctuary
Seeing hurt or sick animals doesn't have to leave you feeling helpless -- assisting with their care and recovery is one of the many ways you can give this holiday season.
You can do just that by donating to the West Place Animal Sanctuary HERE.
The West Place Animal Sanctuary makes a difference by:
- providing housing, food, and medical care for injured and orphaned wild birds, waterfowl and wild turkeys as well as unwanted farm animals
- overseeing rehabilitation services leading to the release of the aforementioned types of injured or orphaned wildlife, and providing placement services for farm animals whenever possible
Newport Festivals Foundation
The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals draw thousands of fans to Newport every summer to enjoy great music by some of the best musicians who have ever lived. Donate HERE to help continue this great tradition.
The Newport Festivals Foundation is in charge of festivals such as the Newport Jazz Festival and Newport Folk Festival.
The Newport Festivals Foundation makes a difference by:
- preserving the legacy of the Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals
- nurturing the creation and education of folk & jazz music in Rhode Island, as well as internationally
St. Mary's Home for Children
Children who experience violence in their homes can often be affected for the rest of their lives, and may never truly get over it.
The St. Mary's Home for Children provides services to help kids who are traumatized by violence in their homes. Click HERE to donate.
St. Mary's Home for Children makes a difference by providing:
- residential and outpatient services
- in-home services and educational services
You can never donate enough to benefit the well being of kids.
Children's Friend is one of the leaders in attempting to improve the lives of children. Donate to them HERE.
How important are they? With centers in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Children’s Friend serves over 30,000 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families each year.
Children's Friend makes a difference by:
- providing flexible, effective, and culturally-relevant services
- advocating for programs and policies that support and strengthen children and their families
Music can serve as an important role in communities across the state and Rhode Island.
Community MusicWorks looks to create an urban community through music education and performance that can transform the lives of children, families, and musicians. Click HERE to donate.
Community MusicWorks makes a difference by:
- teaching, mentoring, program design, and performance activities of the Providence String Quartet
- creating an opportunity for a professional string quartet to build and transform its own urban community
WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care
North Kingstown, Pascoag, Foster
You can never have a shortage of community health care facilities and organizations.
WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care has been around for 107 years. Click HERE to donate.
WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care makes a difference by:
- Provides high quality health Care to individuals and families.
- Promoting the highest quality of health for the individual and family as well as for the community.
Providence Revolving Fund
Preserving the beauty of Providence's architectural heritage is important to the community and the entire state. You can donate to the Providence Revolving Fund HERE.
The Providence Revolving Fund makes a difference in the community by:
- partnering with neighborhoods and community-based organizations
- retaining and developing affordable housing
- collaborating with others to preserve and develop real estate
- serving as a catalyst for public and private investment
Youth Pride Inc.
Building a community where lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer youth can develop and be themselves is a vital part of the world today. Donate HERE to help Youth Pride continue to provide that.
Youth Pride Inc. makes a difference by:
- providing free programs including individual counseling, weekly discussion groups, leadership trainings, social events and wellness activities.
- being an affirming space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning young people to build community, develop connections and be themselves
Day One works to reduce sexual abuse and violence in Rhode Island, not only for survivors, but addressing the issue as a community concern
Click HERE to donate.
Day One makes a difference in the community by providing:
- 24-hour Helpline and legal advocacy
- law enforcement advocacy programs
- individual and group counseling
- professional training session and prevention education workshops
Amos House provides direct support for people in need by offering meals, shelter, and other resources that help them achieve stability and services they need.
Donate to the Amos House HERE.
The Amos House started as a small soup kitchen, and today consists of a campus of 14 buildings including a restaurant, permanent supportive housing and a mother-child reunification center.
Amos House makes a difference in the community by providing:
- 90-Day recovery-based programs
- ten buildings dedicated to supportive housing as well as a mother-child reunification program
- culinary and carpentry training programs, and a literacy center and social enterprise businesses that employ men and women and generate income
Founded in 1978, Looking Upwards is a private, nonprofit agency offering a wide array of services to adults with developmental disabilities and children with special healthcare needs.
Donate to them HERE.
How important are they? Looking Upwards serves more than 900 kids and adults across the state.
Looking Upwards makes a difference by providing:
- services for adults with developmental disabilities
- services for families of children with special healthcare needs
Capital Good Fund
The Capital Good Fund works to create pathways out of poverty for Rhode Islanders by providing affordable loans that take the place of payday loans, buy-here-pay-here car financing, and rent-to-own pricing. Donate HERE.
How important are they? To date, they have provided 1,335 loans totaling $1,516,039 have been disbursed to low-income Americans.
The Capital Good Fund makes a difference by:
- offering small loans and personalized Financial + Health Coaching to families in Rhode Island
Little Flower Home
Providing a safe place for pregnant women and or young kids can be a monumental task. However, that is just what he people at the Little Flower Home are working to do, for Rhode Islanders in need.
Help them continue to make a difference by donating HERE.
The Little Flower Home makes a difference by:
- providing comfortable private room(s) in shared apartments or shared homes for pregnant women and their children at no cost for women dealing with domestic violence, or under undue pressure
- providing clean clothing for both mom and children as well as guidance with respect to the wide array of Social Services that are available
- assisting with food stamps and medical insurance for families and children
Providence Animal Rescue
Homeless or lost animals often rely on the kindness of volunteers, and in this case a dedicated staff working to help them. Donate to Providence Animal Rescue HERE to help save these animals.
Providence Animal Rescue makes a difference by:
- providing appropriate shelter and humane care for homeless animals and seeking permanent responsible homes for adoptable animals
- reducing pet overpopulation through strict spay/neuter measures and providing a diversity of humane education programs to meet community needs.
Lucy's Hearth is a 24-hour emergency and transitional shelter for mothers and their children who are homeless due to economic hardship, family crisis, divorce or any number of reasons.
In one year, Lucy's Hearth sheltered 52 families – 52 mothers and 92 children through their emergency shelter, transitional apartment and permanent apartment programs, for a total of nearly 13,542 shelter and transitional bed nights, with more than 22,000 meals served.
Lucy's Hearth makes a difference by providing:
- an emergency shelter program as well as transitional and permanent apartment programs
- outreach and aftercare programs
Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership
An hour a week is all it takes for a mentor to make a difference in the life of a child.
The Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership envisions a Rhode Island where all youth are connected to relationships with adults who inspire and support them.
The Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership makes a difference because kids with mentors are…
- 46% less likely to begin using drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 53% less likely to skip school
- 33% less likely to engage in violence
Rhode Island Interscholastic League
Sports can helps kids get through their day, week, month and maybe longer. The Interscholastic League helps make that possible -- donate HERE
How important are they? There are 60 public, private, and parochial high schools who make up the league. These schools sponsor athletic activities in 28 sports. More than 20,000 young men and women compete
The Rhode Island Interscholastic League makes a difference by:
- supervising and administering the athletic programs contests
- scheduling and overseeing matters related to the participating schools throughout the state
Dorcas International Institute of RI
Anyone who is trying to overcome cultural, educational, economic or language barriers in Rhode Island can go to Dorcas for help.
And you can help Dorcas by donating HERE.
Dorcas International Institute makes a difference by providing:
- education & workforce training
- a Center for Citizenship & Immigration Services
- full service community school, refugee resettlement, interpreting & translating
- a clothing collaborative and welcome center
For some, obtaining the basic needs in life can be a challenge and need help brought to them. Barrington Tap-In provides assistance to help with basic human needs. Donate HERE.
Barrington Tap-in consists of over 100 dedicated volunteers.
Barrington Tap-in makes a difference by:
- providing information, referrals, and transportation help and assistance to meet basic human needs for Barrington, Bristol, East Providence and Warren residents
National Federation of the Blind of RI
The membership-based consumer advocacy organization works to change what it means to be blind.
Help the blind -- and their families -- by donating HERE.
National Federation of the Blind makes a difference by:
- providing 2 chapters, with the Greater Providence Chapter meeting the third Saturday of the month in East Providence and the Mount Hope Chapter meeting the third Thursday of the month in Bristol
- working to improve the quality of education for blind children
- retaining the earning levels for blind people so that it is equal to people of age sixty-five
Stages of Freedom
There is no better time to support the work of Stages of Freedom in enriching and empowering Rhode Island children of color.
National Federation of the Blind makes a difference by offering programs such as:
- Bow Ties for Boys, which teaches grooming and social skills to Black boys
- Girls Tea Party, which teaches social graces and table manners to young girls of color at an elegant tea party
- Swim Empowerment, which teaches children of color how to swim to drive down the high rate of drownings in our community. Last year we taught 311 children to swim at area YMCAs by paying for their lessons through private donations. We also provide opportunities for them to engage with their culture and history through lectures, performances, exhibits and walking tours.