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Members step up to the season of giving

Members have reached out to needy students through the Children's Fund since 1985. During the holidays, their generosity is overwhelming.

Members have reached out to needy students through the Children's Fund since 1985. During the holidays, their generosity is overwhelming.

NEARI lifts students’ minds, and spirits

This December, the NEARI Children’s Fund celebrated 26 years of its anonymous gift-giving program, the Gingerbread Express. Nearly 1500 needy students were connected with generous NEARI members and friends, who shopped for holiday presents according to the students' needs and desires.

The Gingerbread Express helped students in South Kingstown, Cumberland, East Providence, Chariho, Providence, Westerly, Burrillville, North Kingstown, Narragansett, and Newport. Some gifts are filtered through the NEARI office, while other local NEARI unions collect their own names and find their own donors. In addition, many classrooms across the state adopt names as a group project. Parents preserve the pride of their children by discreetly picking up their gifts in their respective school offices.

In one case, however, the Gingerbread Express arrives with a flourish. On December 16, Providence’s D’Abate School received a tractor-trailer delivery, courtesy of Teamsters Local 251, which transported the huge gift packages donors purchased for every one of its 400-plus children. NEARI has adopted D’Abate every year since the program began, due to the economic level of its students.

Helping with gift donations this year were companies that adopted large groups of children.

Thanks go to:

  • Coastway Credit Union
  • Horace Mann Insurance
  • Newport Naval Academy Preparatory School
  • Neighborhood Health Plan
  • International Interior Design Association
  • Christopher Regan Insurance
  • RI state senators

The NEARI Children’s Fund was established in 1985 to answer the needs of students coming to school without the basic necessities, such as proper clothing, eyeglasses, school supplies, and more. Any member of the organization may nominate a student for assistance, which is generally provided within 24 hours.

Support the Children's Fund

The Children's Fund is fueled by donations and fundraisers. Learn how you can support the Children's Fund all year long!

Find out how

Contact Us

Call the NEARI Children's Fund directly if you see a student in need. The coordinator is Val Staples, and she can be reached at 401-463-9630 ext. 304, or

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National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI)

99 Bald Hill Road
Cranston, RI 02920-2631

P: 401-463-9630
F: 401-463-5337

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