What is the Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive?
The Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive at Children’s Friend provides gifts of clothing and toys to make the winter holidays a special time for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable families. In 2015, 1,465 families received wonderful gifts from supporters.

Where do the families come from?
All of the families are current clients of Children’s Friend. In 2015, 96% of our families were living under the federal poverty level which for a family of three is just over $20,000. Children’s Friend has locations in the urban core communities of Rhode Island to better meet the needs of the families. Over 38,000 children, families and child care professionals benefited from Children’s Friend services in 2015.

Why should I sponsor a family with the Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive at Children’s Friend?
The Holiday Drive at Children’s Friend began over 15 years ago with staff members assembling gift baskets with donations for a small number of families. From those roots, the Holiday Drive has developed into the event that it is today with a family selection process, reviewed and approved wish lists, a staff of agency members and volunteers, and gift drives that are held by other groups. Our goal this year is to serve 1,500 families in 2016.

How are the families selected?
Our staff selects the most needy families they work with to be part of the Holiday Drive. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate all of our families.

How do I get matched with a family to sponsor?
You can submit your information online or call the Holiday Hot line at 401.276.4346 or email holidaydrive@cfsri.org and a representative will match you with a family that has the number, age, and gender of children that you would like to sponsor. Perhaps you want to sponsor a family that is experiencing a specific hardship such as a one with a developmentally challenged child or one who is struggling financially because of medical bills and loss of employment. Children’s Friend will work with you to find a match. You can also call or email the Holiday Line at 401-276-4346 or holidaydrive@cfsri.org.

What does a sponsorship of a family entail?
As a sponsor, you will receive the family’s wish list, detailing the names, ages, needs and requests of each child as well as a brief summary of the family’s current circumstances. The wish list will serve as a guide to you in selecting gifts for the family. You are in no way obligated to purchase everything that is listed on the wish list. Once you have completed your shopping, please deliver the gifts to Children’s Friend and we will deliver them to the family directly.

Can I support the Holiday Drive without sponsoring a family?
There are many ways to support the Holiday Drive without committing to a specific family. Donate warm clothing, toys, or gift cards that can be used to support families that are not matched with sponsors. Volunteer your time to help sort gifts and process deliveries. Make a monetary donation to Children’s Friend.