Providence, RI – The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 23 of RI, in partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), is hosting its second Annual Toy Drive to benefit families in need, whose parents are attending CCRI as students. This year, in an effort to assist more families, support small businesses, and to follow current health protocols, IATSE Local 23 has partnered with Henry Bear’s Park, located at 736 Hope Street in Providence, and their It Takes a Village Program by providing care packages, in the form of gift cards to children in need. Henry Bear’s Park matches 25% of all total donations. Donations are accepted until December 11 in order to distribute all donations digitally in time for the holiday season.

If you are interested in donating to the It Takes A Village Program, please visit https://www.henrybear.com/Donate-A-Care-Package?location=3&quantity=1.
Please select the IATSE button and indicate how many care packages you’d like to donate. All transactions are tax-free and secure using Henry Bear’s Park website. 

“IATSE Local 23 wanted help our community, and after deciding on a toy drive in mid 2019, we reached out to CCRI to see if we could be of assistance. We wanted to support hard-working families in our community that are constantly trying to better their situation, even as life presents the worst of situations,” said Ryan Kelley, Toy Drive Coordinator and Apprentice Member of IATSE Local 23. “After the 2019 holiday season, our inaugural year,  in which we helped almost 20 families from the Liston Campus, we decided to expand, especially with the current economic climate and the need to go contact-less. Luckily, Henry Bear’s Park, a local toy store, has been a great support to us with this endeavor. Our  local partnerships with CCRI and Henry Bear’s Park have helped us maintain the community spirit of our toy drive.” 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all, but none more so than the many CCRI students who struggle to afford college while also working, often more than one job, and taking care of their young families,” said Shanna Wells, Coordinator of Community and Social Resources at CCRI.  “As the coordinator of Community and Social Resources at CCRI, I am so grateful to IATSE-23 and Henry Bear’s Park for their efforts on behalf of our students and their children.  The spirit of the holidays is alive and well in IATSE-23 and Henry Bear’s Park!”

For more information about IATSE Local 23 of RI, CCRI, or Henry Bear’s Park, please visit their respective social media channels at the following links:

IATSE Local 23:  Facebook
CCRI: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram  
Henry Bear’s Park:  Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 
#ItTakesAVillage

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Ken Abrams

Lifestyle Editor Ken Abrams writes about music for What'sUpNewp, SO RI, Folk Radio UK and more. He's also a DJ Tuesday night 6-9PM on WRIU 90.3 FM.