Hasbro Employees Support Rhode Island Philharmonic Student Scholarships

The Providence Business News profiled a unique partnership between GCRI member Hasbro employees and music students at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.  Members of Hasbro’s Music Matters Employee Network teamed with the Philharmonic’s students for a benefit concert and raised $2,000 for scholarships for the program.

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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.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Supports Efforts for Make Communities Better for All Ages Through $1.8 million in Grants

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced nearly $1.8 million in new community investments that reflect its commitment to make cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old. The new grants will support initiatives at 16 community organizations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire working to make communities healthier for people of all ages, with a specific interest in engaging older adults. These investments are in addition to nearly $1 million in previously announced work.

The supported grants in systems improvement and best practices reflect a trend of increased regional and local efforts to create age- and dementia-friendly communities. The initiatives promote cross-sector collaboration, expand engagement of older people, advance improvements to support the health and wellbeing of older people, and foster intergenerational connections.

“Each community will follow its own path to becoming age- and dementia-friendly. Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps ensure resources reach under-represented communities at greatest risk for disparities,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Everyone has a voice; it’s important that we listen.”

The two Rhode Island recipients of grants were:

Local Initiative Support Corporation (Providence, R.I.) The Intergenerational Farmers’ Market Project—to address social isolation for older adults through relationship-building activities that capitalize on the integration of arts, culture and community resources across Rhode Island. Two-year grant for $120,000.  (For more information on this innovative program, read the ProJo feature on it!)

Rhode Island Parent Information Network (Cranston, R.I.) Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in R.I. for Older People—to improve Rhode Island’s system for providing evidence-based programs for older adults and their caregivers. One-year grant for $63,085.

GCRI Members Invited to Visit Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative Sites

GCRI members United Way and Hasbro invite GCRI members to visit to one of 14 summer learning programs of the 2018 Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative (HSLI).   Each program offers youth a fun six-week, service learning-oriented, experiential curriculum that is designed and delivered by a collaboration of school-day and community-based educators. No two programs are the same, but all of them work towards a common goal: to narrow the achievement gap—a phenomenon that research shows is significantly attributed to unequal access to summer learning.

More than 1,100 Rhode Island youth will benefit from the initiative this summer,  and site visits offer guests the opportunity to witness the progress being made to combat summer learning loss. Visits last one hour.

The following visits are available:

Central Falls — August 9, 2:00-3:00pm, Calcutt Middle School

Cumberland — July 31, 9:00-10:00am, Joseph L. McCourt Middle School

Newport — July 24, 9:00-10:00am, Boys & Girls Club of Newport

North Kingstown — August 1, 11:00am-noon, McGinn Park

North Providence — July 12, 11:00-noon, Greystone School

Pawtucket — July 12, 9:00-10:00am, Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket

Providence — July 30, 11:00am-noon, Blackstone Valley Academy at Moses Brown School

Providence — August 15, 11:00am-noon, YWCA Rhode Island

West Warwick — August 8, 1:00-2:00pm, Deering Middle School

Westerly — August 7, 9:00-10:00am, Tower Street School Community Center

Woonsocket — July 31, 2:00-3:00pm, C3 Center

Woonsocket — August 8, 9:00-10:00am, Kevin K. Coleman Elementary School

If you are interested in participating in one of the site visits or would like more information, please email hilary.ho@uwri.org or joseph.morra@uwri.org.

RI Council for the Humanities Hosts NEA, NEH Leaders for Cultural Conversation; Announces Grants

GCRI Member RI 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.

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Women’s Fund Announces 2018 Grantees, Hosts Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

The Women’s Fund of Rhode Island (WFRI) announced its 2018 grants totaling $50,000 to support gender equality advocacy and female leadership development.  The six recipients are doing impressive work for women and girls in Rhode Island.  One of the grantees, Young Voices, has been providing leadership training to low-income youth of color for ten years. The organization gives kids tools, skills, and experiences that will enhance public speaking, networking, analysis, critical thinking, and leadership.

Another grantee, The Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) has been working with female entrepreneurs in New England since 1995, preparing them for the business world. It educates, trains, supports, and certifies women starting businesses, giving them the tools necessary to getting their foot in the door. With this approach, CWE levels the playing field and opens doors for women business-owners.

A third grantee is doing significant work for refugees, work that is needed now more than ever. Aline Binyungu and Clement Shabani started Women’s Refugee Care in 2016 to provide services and support to refugees, and their work has expanded to encompass gender equality for women and girls as well. Their proposed project receiving funding from WFRI will provide counseling sessions to educate and support female refugees experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

Grant recipients were Blackstone Valley Prep (summer camp in 2019 to cultivate civic engagement and leadership for 8-11th grade girls); Center for Women and Enterprise (‘Community Classrooms: Spanish Language Entrepreneurship Training’);Planned Parenthood (RI Coalition for Reproductive Freedom);Sojourner House (programming to all 10th grade health classes in Providence Public Schools);Women’s Refugee Care (counseling, contraceptives and education); and Young Voices (#RaiseOurVoices effort to address the root causes of educational disparities).

In addition to announcing a new slate of grants, on June 13, WFRI hosted a Gubernatorial Candidates Forum at the RI Nursing Education Center.  The session was be moderated by Maureen Moakley, political science professor at University of Rhode Island, and was focused on issues facing women and families in Rhode Island.  More info

Best for Rhode Island Launched To Support Socially Responsible Business in RI

Best for Rhode Island Launched To Support Socially Responsible Business in RI

BestForRI-General

GCRI is excited to be a partner in the new Best for Rhode Island initiative launched at the December Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.  Best for Rhode Island initiative is a statewide campaign that equips businesses to assess and improve their positive social impact.

Through a confidential online assessment – the Best for RI Challenge – the business practices of participating entities are evaluated in four key areas – governance, workers, community and the environment. Participants are then able to develop targets for improvement, receive free assistance to help them meet their goals, and are publicly celebrated for their participation and improvement.

“We are thrilled to be launching Best for Rhode Island in collaboration with business and community organizations across the state,” says Britt Page, the program director for Best for Rhode Island. “Social Enterprise Greenhouse believes that every business in Rhode Island, regardless of industry, size, or location, can and should be thinking about ways to enhance its positive social impact. We’re excited to help shed light on the great things our business community is doing already, and to assist participating businesses in reaching their improvement goals.”

Best for Rhode Island is an initiative of Social Enterprise Greenhouse in partnership with GCRI, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and a coalition of business and community organizations across the state. The program and online assessment were developed by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that developed the highly regarded B Corp Certification. B Lab’s “Best for” program is currently being piloted in three other locations in the U.S. – New York City, Philadelphia, and Colorado – and other communities are in the planning stages for launching their own “Best for” programs.

The Best for Rhode Island initiative is made possible through generous support from GCRI member Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), Virgin Pulse, Worldways Social Marketing, and other corporate and individual sponsors. Each of these sponsors is a leader in the movement to use “business as a force for good,” and is helping to position Rhode Island as a great place to live and work and to launch and grow a socially responsible business.

“At Blue Cross, we take social responsibility very seriously, and strive to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us by investing and participating in the local community, improving the health of Rhode Islanders, valuing and modeling diversity and inclusion, and minimizing our impact on the environment,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director of Community Investment at BCBSRI. “What we find most appealing about Best for Rhode Island is that it will help all businesses – large and small – to positively impact our state in meaningful ways. We’re honored to support this initiative because we believe that good business is good for business and more importantly, good for Rhode Island.”

“Rhode Island has provided a promising business environment for Virgin Pulse, and we want to pay it forward by being a good neighbor, collaborative partner, and strong advocate for social responsibility and community involvement,” said David Osborne, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Pulse. “Virgin Pulse clients and members all over the globe are using our technology to help change lives and businesses for good. We’re thrilled to extend our purpose to include what’s Best for Rhode Island.”

Mark Marosits, Co-Founder of Worldways Social Marketing, comments, “Best for Rhode Island reminds us that every enterprise has the opportunity to be a force for social good, and that Rhode Island can be the epicenter of this global movement.”