Help! Everyone needs a hero and maybe that hero is you

A lot of us are staring at increasingly terrifying headlines scrolling across our screens and hoping for a hero to sweep in and rescue us. But why not be the hero you so desperately need? Instead of hiding under your covers in fear, watch how quickly that fear dissipates when your focus turns to others. So in this season of gratitude, take a look at what you have to give and figure out where it fits with what your community needs. It could be as simple as helping out an elderly neighbor or it could be becoming involved with one of the many organizations listed below or profiled throughout this issue. After all, if all of us gave freely of ourselves, would any one of us want?
Crossroads Rhode Island’s Domestic Violence Program: Donate new personal care items, gift cards, baby items and non-perishable food items. 160 Broad St, PVD.
Judy’s Kindness Kitchen: Cooks and sandwich makers (kids invited) come every Sunday from 8:15 – 9:30am to Congregation Beth Sholom, 275 Camp St, on the East Side of PVD. Servers come to Crossroads RI at 10am, 160 Broad St, PVD (at the old Downtown YMCA building).
Good Neighbors Soup Kitchen: Reliable volunteers needed to help in the kitchen. Soup kitchen volunteers should have cooking experience, take initiative and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. Also needed: drivers, bread pickup, frozen meat pickup and RI Community Food Bank pickup, as well as food and clothing donations. 55 Turner Ave, Riverside.
McAuley House: Food preparation and service volunteers needed; possible times between 8am and 1:30pm Mon – Fri and one Sat each month. Also needed: volunteers for drives, office work, employment support and enrichment activities. 622 Elmwood Ave, PVD.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State: Become and big and change the life of a child. Training available for volunteers. 1540 Pontiac Ave #2, Cranston.

Handsome Dan’s Pit Bull Rescue: Assist with the placement, care, shelter, training and overall well-being of canines in local shelters and other facilities throughout RI. Volunteer positions online at

Hunger Down: An effort by RI-based businesses, nonprofits and musicians to provide local hunger relief. Looking for committee members, advocacy volunteers and interns.

PARL: Can’t adopt a pet, but want to help abandoned animals? There are morning care and shelter assistant opportunities at the Providence Animal Rescue League. 34 Elbow St, PVD.

Sojourner House: A comprehensive agency addressing issues of domestic violence and helping those in danger from it. Volunteers for intake, outreach and internships are always needed. 386 Smith St, PVD.
 Project Undercover: Diapers, socks, underwear and baby wipes are needed for little ones living in poverty. Email to set up a pickup or drop-off,
New Urban Arts: A nationally recognized community arts studio for high school students and emerging artists in PVD. The mission is to build a vital community that empowers young people as artists and leaders to develop a creative practice they can sustain throughout their lives. Donations of supplies or materials for the studio are always welcome. 705 Westminster St, PVD.
Food Pantries / Meal Sites:
East Bay Community Action Newport Pantry: 19 Broadway, Newport. Mon 11am – 4pm, Tue 9am – 2pm, Wed noon – 4pm, Thu 1 – 7pm
WARM Center Meal Site Program: 54 Spruce St, Westerly. Every day: lunch noon – 1pm, dinner 5:30 – 6:30pm
John Hope Settlement House Pantry: 7 Thomas Whitten Way, PVD. 401-421- 6993. Call for appointment and food distribution schedule. Mon – Fri, 9am – 4:30pm
PICA Food Cupboard: 250 Washington St, PVD. 401-454- 7422 Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu and Sat 9 – 11am
Federal Hill House Pantry: 35 Swiss St, PVD. Food pantry service hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 10am – noon and 1:30 – 4pm; Tue and Thu: 1:30 – 4pm
Pawtucket Soup Kitchen: 195 Walcott St, Pawtucket. Mon – Fri breakfast 7:30 – 8am, dinner 5 – 5:30pm and Saturday meal 10:30 – 11am
Amos House Meal Site: 415 Friendship St, PVD. Mon – Fri: 7 – 8am (breakfast) and Mon – Sat 11am – 12:30pm (lunch)
Church of the Master Meal Site: 15 Valley St, PVD. Sat 9 – 10am
West Warwick Senior Center Pantry: 145 Washington St, W. Warwick. Mon – Fri: 8am – 4pm; Sat: 9am – 2pm
Coventry Community Food Services: 191 Macarthur Blvd, Coventry. Tue and Wed: 9am – 1pm; Thu: noon – 3:30pm
Sts. John & James Soup Kitchen: 17 St. John St, West Warwick. 401-821- 7661 Thu: 11:30am – 1pm
For a full list of all pantries and meal sites, please visit and follow the link to the Food Agency List.
Food Drives:
RI Food Bank: Drives take place throughout the state, hosted by different organizations.
Thanksgiving Help:
PVD Rescue Mission Food Drive: Make a monetary donation to help feed a family in need.
Happy Baskets Program: Provides Cumberland families in need the chance to receive food baskets and toys over the holidays. The program has distributed more than 12,000 baskets over the past 23 years. Volunteer a few hours to sort donations, wrap gifts or assemble baskets. Baskets will be put together on Thu, Nov 15 at 6pm at the Cumberland Senior Center.
RI Child and Family Thanksgiving Basket Drive: Donations of non-perishable food items and a gift certificate to purchase a turkey and other perishable items. Monetary donations or gift certificates to Shaw’s or Stop & Shop are also extremely helpful. 1268 Eddy St, PVD.
Holiday Help:
The Jonny Cake Center Gift Drive: Gift donations will be accepted until Dec 12. 1183B Kingstown Rd, Peace Dale.

Adopt-a-Family Program: You provide toys and gifts for children. A wish list is provided and you shop for the child or children with whom you are matched. Generic gifts, gift certificates or a monetary donation are also appreciated.