A battery-powered four-wheeler, craft kits and baby dolls were just some of the more than 40 gifts collected through BankRI’s Holiday Giving Tree in Middletown for children served by Lucy’s Hearth. Statewide, the 23 rd annual effort led to 2,659 gifts for kids in need. Left to right: Gina Rancourt, Middletown Assistant Branch Manager; and Brooke Darcy, Middletown Branch Manager.

 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.