Christmas Love for Veterans - EP Style
Tracy Adams Capobianco's 2016 Holiday for Heroes
Based on a suggestion from her Dad, Tracy Capobianco organized an effort to give cards and gifts to veterans at the Veterans Home in Bristol this year. “Hopefully, this will become an annual tradition,” said the popular former councilwoman who runs 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,” said the volunteer-minded Capobianco.
Active with social media, Capobianco asked people to drum up support from within their families, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. “A friend and veteran, Jim Miller, gave us the information on gifts that would be beneficial. The list included about 185 wonderful veterans living at the home (Bristol). The effort grew from sending children’s Christmas cards to full blown gift bags with life’s necessities and some fun stuff. Another contributor was Cardi's Furniture.
The response was overwhelming. “I know Tracy doesn’t like it to be about her but this was simply amazing,” said a friend, Dena O'Brien. “She has worked countless hours on these special gift bags for men and women who have served our great country. She is very unselfish and compassionate and deserves huge recognition for all she's done for our City and now what she's doing for our RI Veterans,” added O’Brien. Visiting The Little Red School House on the night before they planned to deliver the gifts to the Veteran’s home, volunteers marveled at the large number of gift bags ready to go.
The effort even received a check from “a friend” for $2,500 which the group used to purchase three new reclining chairs for the Vet's Home. Cardi's delivered them for free. In the end some 185 holiday gift bags were put together, including “five custom gifts for women veterans.” When reached for a comment on this story, Capobianco brushed aside any credit and was reluctant to say much. “I really am only able to do this because I'm lucky enough to know so many great helpers,” she said. “This is how you build a community. Projects like this are always easier with 26 little helpers (students). So proud of them, 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.
Family played a big part in the "Holiday for Heroes" effort. Both Capobianco's father and mother were instrumental in helping her out. "My daughter won’t be happy that this article mentions her a lot but she deserves a lot of credit, as do her friends,” said her dad “Chubby” Adams. “We were excited to team up with the EP Battle Monuments Foundation to do some serious shopping for the Veterans Home. We have received so many donations cards and gifts that we had to get creative with storage! Our community is the best,” added a tired but prideful Capobianco. Community spirit is indeed alive whenever Tracy Adams Capobianco gets involved.