Collette Serves Up One Million Meals As Part of Massive CSR Campaign

GCRI member Collette, North America’s oldest tour operator, reached its goal of donating one million meals at a recent packaging event during the company’s annual Founder’s Day. The tour operator’s non-profit arm, The Collette Foundation, launched the One Million Meals hunger initiative in 2016 to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary and to honor its core value of giving back.

“There are so many people in need around the globe, and we feel fortunate to be able to make a real impact in their lives, both through our global workforce and our many wonderful partners,” said CEO Dan Sullivan. “Social responsibility has been and always will be a core pillar of our culture at Collette.”

To reach the ambitious goal in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger, Collette not only mobilized the support of its 600 global employees, but also through a careful selection of partnerships and donations. Partnerships include Rise Against Hunger and Rhode Island-based Edesia. Collette also donated to organizations such as Share our Strength.

 

 

 

RI Council for the Humanities Awards Grants, Mini Grants, Hosts NEH and NEA

GCRI Member Rhode Island Council for the Humanities hosted A Cultural Conversation with Jane Chu of the National Endowment for the Arts and Karen Kenton of the National Endowment for the the Humanities, as well as all of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation.  Over 300 community members attended the session, which took place at Trinity Repertory Theater.

RICH also announced a total of $136,429 in new grants to 14 humanities initiatives across the state.  The announcement ceremony, attended by over 50 representatives from civic and cultural organizations, recognized Rhode Island’s strong humanities community and the role the humanities play in civic and community engagement.

Grantees included New Urban Arts, Manton Avenue Project, newportFILM, RISD Museum, South County History Center, Rhode Island Latino Arts, Little Compton Historical Society, Providence Preservation Society and Stages of Freedom for the Public Project category.  In the Documentary film category, grants were awarded to Center for Independent Documentary, Rhode Island PBS and the Rhode Island Historical Society, while Meeting Street and Pushed Learning and Media/New Urban Arts received grants in the K-12 Civic Education category.

More information

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities also announced four Mini Grants to two organizations and two independent researchers. These public projects and individual research efforts will reach thousands of Rhode Islanders as they engage topics of preservation of family archives, the impact of a cultural nonprofit on its new neighborhood, how communities experience and remember a theatre festival, and finally, how we uncover and tell the stories of those traditionally on the fringes of the dominant historical narratives.

Awardees were The Wilbury Theatre Group, Community MusicWorks, Amy Barlow and Joey DeFrancesco.  Learn more

Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley Hosts Concert in the Park Program

After learning about the Levitt Foundation’s AMP Your City grant program in the GCRI nonprofit newsletter, Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley applied for, and received Levitt funding to offer a summer full of free outdoor concerts.

Said Meghan Rego, Director of Resource Development and Communications at Neighborworks, “Thanks [to GCRI] for including it in the newsletter so that we knew of the opportunity and were able to apply.  Woonsocket is a buzz about [the] music already; this grant has been an incredible community building tool.”

The goal of the concert series is to reinvigorate the scenic and underused River Island Art Park, “drawing neighbors back into the once bustling public square at the heart of the city to enjoy free and accessible art, serving as both a cultural gathering center where community ties are strengthened and an economic catalyst to the surrounding area.”  The programming builds on Creative Placemaking funding that Neighborworks received from LISC RI, a GCRI member.

More information

Congratulations to Neighborworks, and please remember to share your RFP’s with GCRI so we can help get the word out through GCRI CONNECT, our nonprofit newsletter.

GCRI Members Recognized by Providence Business News

As part of the 2018 Business Women Awards, Providence Business News recognized a number of leaders at GCRI member organizations.  Highlighting the event were Kathleen Malin, vice president of technology and operations at Rhode Island Foundation, honored as Outstanding Mentor; and Sandra J. Pattie, President and CEO of Bank Newport and Chair of the Board of United Way of Rhode Island, honored as Career Achiever.

In addition, Carolyn Belisle, Managing Director of Community Relations at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, was recognized as Professional Services Woman to Watch (and featured in a separate PBN article), and Jeanne Cola, Executive Director of LISC Rhode Island, was recognized as an Achievement Honoree.

Congratulations, all!  We see your tremendous impact every day and are glad to have your partnership in GCRI!

 

 

 

Rhode Island Foundation Awards $280,000 to Improve the Health of Rhode Islanders

Through its RIGHA Foundation Fund, the Rhode Island Foundation recently awarded more than $280,000 in health-related grants to seven local organizations to improve healthcare access and address health issues in the state.

Awardees included Blackstone Valley Community Health Care (BVCHC) to add health coaches to its primary care teams; the City of Central Falls to help develop partnerships between the city’s EMS service and nearby urgent care centers; Clinica Esperanza for chronic disease screening and treatment programs;  the Rhode Island Free Clinic to provide expanded behavioral health services; Rhode Island Hospital to expand its Connect for Health program (community resources to address social determinants of health); and The Providence Center to support counseling programs in seven Providence elementary and middle schools. 

The RIGHA Foundation Fund was created after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care acquired the former Rhode Island Group Health Association. In 2010, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the RIGHA Foundation transferred its $1.6 million endowment to the Rhode Island Foundation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care continues to make annual contributions to the fund, which promotes the development of an effective primary health care system in the state.

Learn More

RI Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg’s ProJo op-ed on the importance of the state taking a steady course for both health care and education

Blue Cross Teams Up with Gloria Gemma Foundation to Provide Breast Cancer Education

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is teaming with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to bring breast health and breast cancer education to schools, businesses, and community centers through the Foundation’s Pink Spirit Program.

BCBSRI awarded Gloria Gemma a $10,000 charitable gift to help fund the Pink Spirit Program, which will enable the Foundation to visit more sites throughout the state.

“Bringing education as important and as focused as what is found in the Pink Spirit Program is essential to raising awareness of the importance of good breast health and early detection of breast cancer. We applaud the work done each and every day by the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and we are honored to provide our support for their vital work,” said Carolyn Belisle, BCBSRI managing director of community relations.

The program is designed to educate students (middle through post-secondary) and employees at local businesses about the risk factors, symptoms, and screening methods for good breast health and early detection of breast cancer.

 

Rhode Island Taking Steps to Address Early Literacy Challenges

As of 2017, less than half of Rhode Island third graders were proficient in reading, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race for Results
report, released last October showed even more literacy challenges for Latino/a students in the state.  According to the Race for Results’ “Opportunity Index,” which includes reading proficiency, Rhode Island’s Latino/a children are doing the worst in the nation.

In the face of these statistics, two GCRI funders, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island, have stepped forward to support and lead the work toward grade level reading proficiency.

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognized Newport, RI as one of 29 “Pacesetter” communities in the country, highlighting the city’s  progress on key indicators of early school success.

Newport’s work on early literacy is highlighted by cross-sector collaboration, including the city, school districts, nonprofit agencies, private organizations and state agencies, including an extensive partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health.  The work has been supported by GCRI member van Beuren Charitable Foundation, among other funding streams.

The Newport program provides resources beginning at birth, with letters to new parents with suggestions on how to build early language development by reading, talking, singing and playing; bags containing books and resource guides with information on programs to support early development and literacy; and links to parent support and educational programs, and home visiting programs.

Rhode Island Reads, a statewide collaboration led by United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, teamed up with the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children to build awareness of the need for high-quality early learning opportunities for young children by organizing reading events in early learning programs across the state. Thirty-six guest readers participated —  26 state legislators and 10 community leaders, including the Director of the Department of Human Services, the Director of the Department of Labor and Training, and members of United Way of Rhode Island’s Women United Leadership Group.  Photos

Rhode Island Reads has also released its 2018 Advocacy Agenda, focusing on legislation and funding in the areas of school readiness, summer learning, chronic absence and learning to read.

 

Rhode Island Foundation’s Together RI Initiative Creates Space for Civic Engagement

  • This spring, the Rhode Island Foundation’s “Together RI” initiative sponsored 20 community meals across the state, to encourage residents to gather with their neighbors and talk about issues of importance to them.
  • From March 22 to May 5, nearly 1,300 people came together at the meals and “shared ideas about Rhode Island’s biggest strengths, the state’s biggest opportunities, and the challenges they and their communities are facing.”
  • Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg shared highlights from the Together RI initiative at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in June.  A few of the noteworthy results:

The youngest Together RI participant was three and a half months old, the eldest was a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor.

1,721 pounds of baked ziti, 1,800 pieces of chicken, 2,304 meatballs, 426 pounds of salad, and 47 gallons of marinara sauce were consumed.

More than 73% said that after these conversations, they better understood issues facing their communities.

75% said that as a result of the conversation, they would be more likely to get involved in conversations and/or activities related to community issues.

Among the most consistent strengths cited in the conversations were the state’s compact size, its natural resources and recreational spaces, its colleges and universities, and its diversity.  Challenges cited included the need for educational improvement, limited funding, and the need for affordable housing and accessible public transportation.

More information on Together RI, the Rhode Island Foundation’s Annual Meeting and awardees

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Help Launch Books Are Wings Literacy Program in Central Falls

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Support Launch of Books Are Wings’ Literacy Efforts in Central Falls

Thanks to funding from two GCRI members, Collette and Rhode Island Foundation, Books Are Wings will partner with the City of Central Falls to provide literacy training for the City’s Parks & Recreation summer camp counselors, three book parties throughout the summer, establish six Little Free Libraries in strategic locations throughout Central Falls and distribute over 5,000 free children’s books to Central Falls students throughout the year.

The Little Free Libraries are available to both children and their families anytime, and invite participants to keep books for their personal use. Grant funds will also support the purchase of bilingual books to be included in the book selection.

Books Are Wings will visit Central Falls elementary schools multiple times throughout the school year to distribute free books. By the end of the school year every child will receive up to 6 free books to keep.

According to the 2017 PARCC, only 15% of third graders in Central Falls are meeting grade-level expectations in reading. This is a 2% gain from the previous two years. “The summer months are critical academic times for children. Children’s access to and ownership of books is crucial to maintain the reading skills they acquired during the school year,” states Jocelynn White, Executive Director of Books Are Wings. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Central Falls to address this need and get more books in the hands of children.”

“The city is excited to partner with Books Are Wings,” says Rob Sayre-McCord, Director of Parks & Recreation and Community Services. “Together, the city and Books Are Wings firmly believe that this initiative will highlight the life-long importance of reading for youth in our community and will be a step towards offsetting the literacy issues our community encounters.”

GCRI Corporate Members Fidelity, Tufts Health Plan Give Back on Annual Days of Service

Tufts Health Plan Employees Tackle 35 Projects in 4 States

In honor of the Tufts Health Plan (THP) Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2018, employees of Tufts Health Plan set an ambitious goal of 10,000 volunteer hours for the year.

After a very successful annual service day, THP is more than halfway to its goal.  This year’s record-setting Volunteer Day engaged 773 Tufts Health Plan employees in giving back to communities–in total 2,100 hours through 35 projects in 4 states–all in one day.

Pictured above are employee volunteers cleaning up the playground and outdoor areas at Federal Hill House in Providence; they were getting the grounds ready for summer camp. Other projects included building beds for children; prepping gardens that will supply healthy, local, affordable food; sorting donated food, clothing and toys for families living in poverty; and making paracord survival bracelets for deployed service members.

Fidelity Employees Assist Over 100 Nonprofits on Fidelity Cares Day

1,600 Fidelity employees in New England, joined colleagues around the globe to assist 110 nonprofits for the company’s annual service day.  A total of more than 8,000 employees globally provided services that will benefit over 15,000 students and almost 1,000 teachers.

In Rhode Island, Fidelity worked with United Way of Rhode Island to provide financial success fairs at Connecting for Children and Families and Genesis Center, assistance in building an outdoor classroom with DownCity Design, refurbishing a community center with Partnership for Providence Parks, and meal packaging for Project Outreach.