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Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Friends:

As we enter the second month of the impacts of the COVID-19 Coronavirus on our community I hope this message finds you healthy and doing well. This pandemic has already caused much pain and suffering in our community and around the globe.

Thanks to all of you, the work of Children’s Friend continues. We are working to support our most vulnerable children and families through this crisis. As with most disasters, those most vulnerable feel the negative impacts first and most harshly.

How we do our work, and how we live everyday has changed dramatically in the past month. Despite all of the changes and uncertainty, I am pleased to report that with your support, the work of Children’s Friend continues. Here are a few examples of your amazing work in these trying times:

  1. Two dozen staff have been working on-site every day at Friendship and Dexter throughout the crisis to ensure over 6,000 WIC families have access to food checks, in a safe way.
  2. Dozens of our staff have volunteered to provide emergency child care services to the children of health care workers.
  3. Teaching and learning activities for our kids continue in new and innovative ways.
  4. Over 200 of you gave generously to support our work through 401Gives and the Friendship Foundation’s generous matching grant. If you haven’t given yet and are able to give something, please click here to support the work of Children’s Friend at this time.
  5. Led by a $50,000 grant from the RI Foundation/United Way COVID-19 Response Fund, our philanthropic community has rallied to keep our work going.
  6. Because of your amazing support all of our staff continue to work supporting our kids and families on-site, at-home, on the phone, or through virtual technology.
  7. Home visits continue to keep us in touch with families, stay connected, and provide support mostly through the use of technology.
  8. In response to the growing number of families lacking food, our long-time partner, Panera Bread, is delivering 100 meals per day to us, and our staff are getting those meals to families in need every single day.

Many of you are aware of the rich history of Children’s Friend. As we face this pandemic together, I want to share a very relevant piece of our history with you.

When Children’s Friend was founded back in 1834, the world was dealing with a cholera pandemic.

Following is a quote from our founder Harriet Ware writing to her siblings about the pandemic. “You, probably, may know something of the agitation that has prevailed here in relation to the cholera. We are expecting it every hour, and have been so for weeks or months. I have had thoughts of suspending my school, but I have submitted to the advice of those who are best acquainted with the circumstances, and all agree that it is important to continue the school until it may be broken up by the pestilence. I have never thought of fleeing to save my life, for no angel has been commissioned to inform me to what mountain I might fly and be secure.”

Just as Harriet Ware did not flee to the mountains, neither have you, as evidenced by the above list of accomplishments.

Thank you for being part of the Children’s Friend Family. Together we will get through this.

Stay safe and stay connected with us on social media.


David Caprio,
President and Chief Executive Officer


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