December 10, 2018
Tracy Capobianco organizes effort for third year

Christmas Gifts for Veterans - Tradition Continues

Donations can be dropped off by December 14th. Little Red School House.

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East Providence's Tracy Adams Capobianco is now organizing a third consecutive year of collecting and donating holiday gift bags to the residents of the Rhode Island Veteran's Home in Bristol. Evidently the tradition has caught on and continues. "For the last two years we were able to spread our holiday kindness to our well deserving Veterans at the Bristol Veterans Home as well as Veterans in our local nursing homes," said Capobianco. "With the help from our caring community we were able to give out 225 gift bags filled with items and cards. We were thrilled with the generosity shown by our community and are excited about the 3rd Annual Holidays for Heroes project. We hope those who helped in the past will be interested again and hope to have some new elf’s too," the former East Providence City Councilwoman added.

Capobianco pointed out that prior efforts included people buying Christmas cards which they signed, buying items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, word find books, shaving cream, etc. There are over 185 veterans residing at the Veteran's home.

People can also donate money and the Capobianco volunteers will purchase other needed items that the veterans need. The project began with a suggestion from her Dad. Capobianco operates the Little Red School House Day Care & School in Riverside, RI. “Originally my Dad suggested the children at the day care make cards, which of course we agreed to do immediately. But then my staff and I thought it would be wonderful to get as many other people involved as possible. Our hope was that people would buy cards and sign them as a family. Others would donate money and we bought cards and gifts to present,” she recently told The Reporter.

The effort grew from sending children’s Christmas cards to full blown gift bags with life’s necessities and some fun stuff. Capobianco refused to take the lion's share of the credit for the project. She immediately mentions her parents, children, family members, friends and of course her students in the day care school. "These are all the great people who do so much good work for our veteran's gift bags. This is how you build a community. Projects like this are always easier with my little helpers (students) and so many in the community. I am so proud of our kids, they would rather help with this Veterans project than play with any toys this morning. To us, helping others is the best lesson we can teach,” added the former councilwoman.

"Thanks to those who have helped with this project and thanks in advance to those I know I can always count on," she said. Anyone wishing to donate items that will make up gift bags can drop them off at the pre-school center at 20 Sprague Avenue in Riverside, RI. by December 14th.

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