June 23, 2018

Local Girls Raise Money For Charity

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Opening day for little league baseball is a happy time for many kids as the annual rite signals the upcoming summer season and end of a long school year. A duo of East Providence girls thought that they would like to do something to help those in need in the community. Ten year old Payton Rotkoski asked her mom how to go about the process and it was suggested that the organization called, 'Riverside Sisters' could help. Little League Baseball and cookies can be a good combination.

Riverside Sisters is a charitable organization founded by Connie Bradley and Julie A. Grant to collect donations of goods, clothing and other necessities that are distributed to those in need. "Riverside Sisters is not equipped to receive cash donations, however, we do accept new toiletries, pocketbooks, and clothing, etc. and during the summer any items for our annual yard sale," said Connie Bradley.

Ten year old Payton Rotkoski and her friend Sophia Santos went to work. The elementary school girls decided they would sell baked goods to purchase new toiletries. The two girls worked hard baking cookies and breads in preparation for their bake sale. Payton Rotkoski told her mom that she actually got the idea to help others after watching the movie "Annie" a couple of years ago when she was seven. "I think that approaching the age of ten now, it was the right time for Payton to do this. She is able to do the work herself," said Payton's mom, Liz Lutz Rutkowski. Payton's best friend Sophia quickly joined in the effort and the baking began.

At the Riverside Little League opening day festivities at Forbes Field, the girls set up a bake sale table and were busy all day. The two girls made enough money selling their baked goods to fill 12 pocketbooks for the RI Coalition against Domestic Violence. "Pocket books are filled with 2 in 1 shampoo, soap, deodorant, lip balm, hand sanitizer, lotion, combs, hair elastics, feminine hygiene products, snacks, books and gifts like bracelets, beads, scarves etc.," said Riverside Sisters Connie Bradley.

Bradley and Julie Grant visited Payton and Sophia at that Forbes field opening day. "We invited the girls to attend our event on April 27th when we organized our pocketbook donations. We filled 59 pocketbooks plus a dozen care packages filled with sample size toiletries. We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of donations and help," said Bradley. "Thanks to our junior Riverside Sisters, Payton and Sophia who worked hard to supply toiletries for 12 pocket books," added organizer Julie Grant.

The pocketbooks will be distributed to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Pawtucket Transitional Housing Program. Donations are also supplying books to the Harbor View senior housing library, leftover toiletries to Good Neighbor Soup Kitchens toiletry drive and 15 packs of pull-ups and overnight Diapers to the WIC program at East Bay Community Action. Payton Rotkoski and her best friend Sophia Santos made a major contribution to this effort. "Not bad from a bake sale organized by two ten year old girls."

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