The New Life Worship Center of Smithfield is working with Feed The Children to provide relief and assistance to those in Oklahoma affected by the recent tornadoes. The center is having a supply drive and is looking to the community for help.
Pastor Ron Termale spoke of and stressed the need for items commonly overlooked when donating. He acknowledged the impact that water and Gatorade can make, but he and his congregation are looking for items that can help with the cleanup. As he put it, he wants to get the people of Oklahoma, “stuff they need.” This includes cleaning products such as paper towels, bleach and cleansers. There is also a need for shovels, rakes, tools and hygiene products such as soap, shampoo and diapers.
In the past, the center has worked with Feed The Children to distribute food to Rhode Islanders and Termale views this drive as a means of helping out the organization that has helped so many in the local area. He now wants others to feel a connection to those affected, even though they live in another part of the country. He is starting with his congregation and reaching out to the community, with a particular emphasis on local business owners.
Termale offered the effort of hardware store and cleaning warehouse owners going into their inventory and putting together packages to be donated as an example of what he would like to see. He is spreading this message through a letter and a set of postcards he is sending to local businesses. The postcards themselves were donated. Termale views this as the first step of many to come of the community coming together to help this effort. The post cards encourage others “to be a champion” and help out.
In response to whether or not his congregation has ever done something like this before. Termale cited previous work with families living in inner parts of Warwick, West Warwick, Woonsocket and Providence.
“They are used to doing this kind of thing,” he said.
He views this as another chance for the congregation to organize the community of Rhode Island.
The center has set up two 20-foot bins for collection. They are located at the New Life Church on 915 Douglas Pike (Rt.7) in Smithfield and at 255 Quaker Lane in Warwick (across from Christmas Tree Shop). Those who would like to give financial donations are encouraged to visit atnewlife.org for more information. The collection will run through June 23. Termale promised later recognition to all those businesses that support the drive.