During the recent government shutdown, Seamen’s Church Institute solicitated donations to support Rhode Island’s U.S. Coast Guard members and their families. In just over two weeks, the organization announces they have raised over $10,000 in donations from the community.

Funds were distributed to the Coast Guard through two main sources. The first was through the Coast Guard Petty Officers Association, based in Bristol, who distributed gift cards directly to Coast Guard members in need of assistance (approximately 70 percent to the Newport station, 20 percent to the Sector SE New England in East Providence and 10 percent to the Bristol unit).

The second method of distribution was through the “Rhode Island Shutdown Support Group,” who hosted dinners and had household goods and gift cards available. Seamen’s also donated gift cards at the Penfield School and a food pantry available for Coast Guard members and their families. The organization also purchased diapers, wipes, paper goods and groceries.

“Seamen’s was delighted to implement Dr. Robin Wallace’s wish to help our local Coast Guard families during the government shutdown,” said Ann Souder, President of Seamen’s Church Institute in a prepared statement. “Our staff was able to react quickly and get the word out and then distribute the monies in a timely fashion. It was an amazing show of empathy from our community. We’re grateful to Dr. Wallace for his suggestion and to all of those who donated.”