Peter D. Kiernan and Eaddo Kiernan are raising the Kiernan Challenge Match to $50,000. Earlier this month, the Kiernans challenged Newport County to raise $25,000 to support the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s Hunger Services, and in just a few short weeks, residents answered the call, coming up with $25,199 at the time of publication. Excited by this momentum, the Kiernans are challenging Newporters to double it. If the community can raise $50,000, they’ll match it for a total of $100,000 for the MLK Community Center.

“If the community can give a total of $50,000 to the MLK Center, we will match it, dollar for dollar,” Peter D. Kiernan said.  “We’d like to see this campaign in the books by Thanksgiving.”

Facing federal and state funding cuts this year, The MLK Community Center is in critical need of financial help to accommodate hungry families through the holiday season and beyond. “This Thanksgiving alone the MLK Community Center will distribute Thanksgiving baskets to 265 families,” Kiernan said. “That’s up from 244 families last year.” 

Kiernan, excited by how quickly the community met the $25,00 amount, has faith that Newporters will match the new challenge by Thanksgiving. “It’s a lot to ask but there is a wonderful momentum and its growing,” he said. “People have responded emphatically, and it makes me proud be a Newport citizen. It will be a sprint to Thanksgiving but I feel like we can do it.”

After Thanksgiving, The MLK Community Center anticipates needing to distribute Holiday food baskets to another 250 families. “If that doesn’t demonstrate the magnitude of need, I don’t know what does,” Kiernan said.

Kiernan stressed that any size gift, no matter how small, is important. “We’re in a period of acute need. All donations of any size, whether it be $10, $25 or $2,500, will help us reach our goal.  Eaddo and I look forward to writing that check to the MLK Community Center!”

You can make a donation to the MLK center here:

If you prefer to mail your donation, please specify “Kiernan Challenge” and send it to:

MLK Community Center | 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd | Newport, RI 02840

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