While cash donations have lagged from prior years, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program fulfilled all requests for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, Roberta Stienle reported yesterday.
Stienle, Warwick Human Service Department coordinator, said that, as of Wednesday, the program had received $10,708 in donations. That’s about $3,000 less than last year at this time.
“With dress-down day we hopefully will get back to where we were last year,” she said.
She projected the $1 collected from city employees a week for those participating in dress-down days would amount to $5,800. On average, the program receives $19,000 a year that is used to buy food gift certificates at local markets. In addition to certificates, the program coordinates the gifting of church, corporate and service organization food baskets, matching those in need with the donors. A major role Stienle plays is ensuring those in need are not overlooked while others seeking assistance receive more than one basket or food certificate.
The Warwick Beacon assists with the program, serving as a collection point for contributions and regularly publishing the names of individuals and groups making donations.
Stienle said about 650 families were provided baskets and certificates during Thanksgiving and 450 at Christmas.
Contributions can be mailed to Neighbors Helping Neighbors, c/o Warwick Beacon, 1944 Warwick Ave., Warwick, RI 02889 or dropped off at the Beacon office.
As a practice, the program has sufficient reserves so as to meet demands for the current year with that year’s donations going for next year.