Marking a generation of helping to brighten the season for children in need, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) kicks off its 25th annual Holiday Giving Tree program.

The signature effort collects gifts for underprivileged kids served by local nonprofits. It begins November 1 at all twenty of the bank’s branch locations and will continue through mid-December.

In Middletown, the bank’s local branch at 132 East Main Road is collecting gifts for children served by Lucy’s Hearth.

“It’s incredible when you stop and think, not only about the sheer number of gifts this program has provided to kids over the years, but also the amazing generosity of Rhode Islanders,” said Will Tsonos, BankRI’s new president and CEO in a statement. “Our community and staff drive this program, and I know those who are able to participate are eager to make a difference, especially at this time of year.”

As of November 1, all BankRI branches display a Holiday Giving Tree in their lobby, decorated with ornaments featuring the name, age, and holiday wish of a child served by that branch’s nonprofit partner. During the nearly six-week program, customers and community members are invited to visit their local branch to select an ornament and provide a gift for that child. After purchasing the gift, donors return to their branch and place the unwrapped present beneath the tree with the original ornament attached.

Those who wish to participate but are unable to visit a BankRI location may call their closest branch to request ornament information or to schedule a curbside drop-off of their donated gift. Branch information can be found at

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.