Members can help students by contacting the NEARI Children's Fund. It provides a safety net for struggling students of any age whose personal needs interfere with their ability to come to school ready to learn.

Helping Students Since 1985

The NEARI Executive Committee established the Children's Fund in 1985 to help students who come to school without their basic needs met.

Over the last 30-plus years, the Fund has poured more than $2 million into communities across the state, providing clothes, shoes, groceries, eyeglasses, medication, special educational equipment and supplies, vocational uniforms, test and licensing fees, tutoring, summer school, and much more to countless students.

2023 Transition

After many years under NEARI's direct management, the Fund is now a donor-directed fund under the Rhode Island Foundation. We are thrilled to now work with partner organizations like Hope & Faith in East Providence, Foster Forward, Clothes to Kids RI, and other school-district level organizations who truly know best the students in need to ensure the mission of the Children's Fund continues.

"The Fund is about restoring hope and giving struggling students a chance to succeed in school...and in life."

Your Support and Generosity Make the Difference!

The Fund is still only fueled by donations and fundraisers such as the Annual Golf Classic and March Magic. It is your generosity and support that keeps this important program that meets the basic needs of public-school students going.

If you have identified a need in your school, make the call to Rhonda Muncey, (401) 463-9630 will provide you with the necessary forms.

For memorial or celebratory donations, like the Heisler Grant, contact Greg Brennick, (401) 463-9630.

The NEARI Children’s Fund is held at the Rhode Island Foundation and all donations to the Fund are tax deductible. The Fund relies solely on donations with all donations going directly to the kids.

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Donate now to the NEARI Children's Fund through the Rhode Island Foundation.

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You may also donate by check. Please make your check payable to Rhode Island Foundation. On the memo line, please write: NEARI Children's Fund.

Mail check to:

Rhode Island Foundation
One Union Station
Providence, RI 02903

We are proud to partner with the following organizations. Our goal is to grow our partnerships across Rhode Island to ensure as many students and families have access to the care they need.

Clothes to Kids RI provides new and quality used clothing to low-income or in-crisis, school-age children in Providence County, Rhode Island—free of charge.

Hope & Faith Drive consistently feeds and clothes East Providence families throughout the year. They work closely with the EP school community and foster compassion and equity with the Kindness Project.

Foster Forward’s mission is to empower lives impacted by foster care with an unwavering commitment to support children and youth, and families.

Westerly Public Schools Project Connect works within the school district to provide services and connect students and families to the community partners and resources they need.

Classroom Grant Program

Chris and Gloria Heisler were educators and strong NEA Rhode Island union supporters their whole career.

We honor the Heisler’s memory and their dedication to students by awarding grants in their name to answer students’ needs. The Classroom Grant Program will disburse up to $500 for each approved grant application.

Apply for the Heisler Grant

NEARI Children's Fund Board of Directors

Larry Purtill

Vice President
Alex Smith

Cheryl Hawes

Rhonda Muncey

Sandie Blankenship
Kristin Chase
Fran Harris
Karen Jenkins
Val Lawson
Stephanie Mandeville
Walter A. Young Jr.