Ocean State Job Lot (OSJL) and the Rhode Island Foundation have teamed up to distribute $100,000 in OSJL gift cards to social service agencies throughout the state this holiday season.

“COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our nation, with the greatest impact being on our already vulnerable populations,” said Marc Perlman, co-founder and CEO, Ocean State Job Lot in a statement.  “The Rhode Island Foundation has done incredible work to provide aid to thousands of families and individuals in need throughout our state, and we are happy to be able to support their efforts.”

Ocean State Job Lot was able to offer the Rhode Island Foundation a 35 percent discount on the purchase of the gift cards, thereby maximizing its ability to help those in need. The Foundation was able to purchase 1,000 gift cards valued at $100 each for $65,000.

Twenty social service agencies that serve almost every community in Rhode Island received an allotment of gift cards. Most already have begun distributing the cards to clients or have identified the clients who will receive them. The Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Progreso Latino and Westbay Community Action are among the organizations that received an allotment.

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“This contribution from Ocean State Job Lot allows our funds to go much further to help even more Rhode Islanders in need this holiday season,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.  “Job Lot’s vast assortment of merchandise will give recipients the flexibility to meet their individual needs, whether it be food, warm clothing or holiday gifts.” 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has consistently and actively invested in providing relief to the communities in which it operates. In late March, OSJL contributed $250,000 to a fund dedicated to acquiring critical supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19 by leveraging its unique buying power to quickly and affordably source items such as gloves, masks, disinfectants, sanitizers, eye protection, and more from its vendors. The Foundation distributed nearly $13 million worth of PPE to those on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, including each police and fire department in the communities in which its stores are located. OSJL continues to utilize its global supply chain to source critically-needed face masks and other PPE and supplies, which are being donated to hospitals and other medical facilities in the region.  These efforts are in addition to its many ongoing charitable activities. Also, in April, OSJL launched the ‘Mask Fabric For Free’ campaign, which upon completion supplied customers with the fabric necessary to create an estimated 1.8 million homemade cloth face masks.