Organization of the Year: NEARI Children’s Fund Gingerbread Express

N EARI Children’s Fund Gingerbread Express established a relationship with YWCA about 20 years ago; at the time it was Nickerson Community Center. Staff saw news coverage of the Gingerbread’s delivery at the D’Abate school in Providence. They called and pleaded a great case for the families serviced by YWCA. It was clear there was a need, but I was concerned that I would not be able to find enough sponsors for these additional families. The program began to expand and the number of sponsors for children increased. We were able to accommodate the YWCA families that year and have been assisting families at YWCA Rhode Island ever since.”

– Valerie Staples, Children’s Fund Coordinator

“NEARI Children’s Fund Gingerbread Express support means so much, not only to the YWCA, but to the kids and community we serve. Every year they go above and beyond anything we ever could expect. Thanks to their contributions, hundreds of children experience the holidays as a special time of year.”

– Deborah Perry, President/CEO of YWCA Rhode Island

NEARI Children’s Fund Gingerbread Express is a program that links members and friends with public school students who are facing a bleak holiday season. The program has embraced thousands of children in need over the years. In many instances, the gifts from the Gingerbread Express are the only gifts the child received. A gift tag cutout in the shape of a gingerbread cookie is made for each of the student recipients listing clothing and shoe sizes along with the child’s wish list. The cutouts are then distributed to NEARI members and friends who are willing to be anonymous donors and fulfill the child’s needs. To preserve the dignity of the students, the identity of the giver and the recipient is withheld.

photo courtesy of NEARI Children’s Fund Gingerbread Express