In a year unlike any other, community generosity helped Bank Rhode Island’s (BankRI) 23rd Annual Holiday Giving Tree program provide more than 2,659 gifts to children throughout the state. 

Each of the Bank’s 20 branches displayed a giving tree decorated with ornaments representing a child in need and their gift wish. While people had the option to visit a branch to select an ornament and provide that child a gift, BankRI encouraged participants to request ornaments by phone. Once gifts were ready to be donated, the Bank offered curbside drop-off appointments.  All gifts have been given to BankRI’s nonprofit partners for distribution to children, ensuring they’d reach their new homes in time for the holiday.

“This year has presented so many challenges, particularly for families with children that were working hard simply to get by before COVID-19 turned our world upside down,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, President and CEO of BankRI in a statement. “While our Giving Tree may have looked different, nothing dampened people’s desire to make a difference. I’m grateful to everyone who helped make this year a success.”

Nonprofit partners of this year’s BankRI Holiday Giving Tree are: Adoption Rhode Island, Aids Care Ocean State, Boys & Girls Clubs of Warwick, Christmas Is, Comprehensive Community Action Program, Community Care Alliance, Connecting for Children & Families, CrossroadsRI: Domestic Violence Program, East Bay Community Action Program, Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, Kingstown Crossings, Lucy’s Hearth, Providence Housing Authority, SSTARbirth, Town of Lincoln Holiday Basket Program, Tri-County Community Action Agency, and Welcome House of South County.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).