Holiday for Heroes - 4th Year Volunteer Effort
Once again Tracy Adams Capobianco, a former city councilwoman and patriotic volunteer, is organizing a "Holiday for Heroes" effort to bring gifts and holiday cheer during the holiday season. This will be the 4th consecutive year Capobianco and volunteers have done this. "We started in 2016 and every year since it has grown," said Capobianco. "We were hoping this would evolve into an annual tradition and so far the interest has grown each year. Originally my Dad suggested the children at the Little Red School House Day Care & School in Riverside, RI 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 and it has taken off from there," she said.
Capobianco asked people to drum up support from within their families, neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. They have a list of about 185 veterans living at the Bristol Veteran's Home which they try to accommodate. "The effort includes sending children’s Christmas cards to full blown gift bags with life’s necessities and some fun stuff," added Capobianco.
Helping Capobianco with this effort is Rick Lawson, himself a veteran and local volunteer on many fronts in East Providence. Lawson who has been active with recognizing local veterans, especially looks forward to "having conversations with kids about our all volunteer military and what they do for America and the whole world, as we make Christmas cards together."
The group is planning to get together at the school on Sprague Ave. in Riverside, RI. on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at 12 PM. They plan to collect and package all gifts at that time. Lawson has offered to pick up donations from residents who can't find time to drop off gifts or cash donations at the school. on Sprague Ave. in Riverside, RI.
“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 my little helpers (students) and the residents who volunteer donations. I am proud of the kids. They would rather help with this Veterans project than play with any toys when we organize the gifts. To us, helping others is the best lesson we can teach,” added the former Councilwoman.
Family plays a big part in the "Holiday for Heroes" effort. Both Capobianco's father and mother and entire family are instrumental in helping her out. "My daughter won’t be happy that this story mentions her a lot but she deserves a lot of credit, as do her friends,” said her dad Alan “Chubby” Adams. “We're all excited to team up and bring some cheer to the Veterans home."