Employees showcase their art skills for a good cause!

By Darlene Masse

Giving back is rewarding, and also a lot of fun. More than 40 National Grid employees had the chance to step out of their day jobs and do something entirely different while volunteering at Children’s Friend in Providence, RI. National Grid and the Red Sox Foundation, once again, teamed up on this community service project. It’s the sixth event the two organizations have collaborated on in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

giving-back-1Employees, whose volunteer service typically involves heavy duty manual labor like landscaping and painting, used their hands-on talent in a more creative way at the October 4th event. They made more than 100 ornaments for the “2016 Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive” administered by Children’s Friend. The organization’s annual holiday drive will provide toys and necessities to approximately 5,000 children this holiday season. Volunteers also packed diaper bags and backpacks full of supplies, while several employees painted garden boxes for the kids to use next year in their STEM education.

Founded in 1834, Children’s Friend serves more than 38,000 of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable children and families each year. During a tour of the facility, National Grid volunteers saw first-hand the importance of Children’s Friend in supporting the well-being and healthy development of children in need.

“We really do truly rely on volunteers to help us with our projects, especially the annual holiday drive,” said Stacy Couto, vice president of external affairs at Children’s Friend. “This is our first large scale project with National Grid, and we would love to have you back,” she said.

Employees seemed to get a kick out of their own artistic skills, and by the volume of the laughter, it was clear volunteers had a lot of fun designing ornaments and checking out one another’s creations. Some of the more popular ornaments included versions of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There were also several National Grid workers, including a worker and apprentice. Other ornaments included a chef, clown, golfer and many elaborate, well-dressed creations.


Alison Lindsay, who works in operations support in National Grid’s North Kingstown office, has participated in all three of the National Grid and Red Sox community events in RI this year. The other two RI events included volunteer days at St. Mary’s Home for Children and the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket. “These are all good organizations and well organized events,” said Alison, who has enjoyed the volunteer experiences.

In addition to making ornaments, Alison also helped with packing the diaper bags and backpacks while at Children’s Friend. “It felt really good to be able to help out these families in a small way with the gift bags we set up. It’s difficult enough taking care of kids, and it just shows how every little bit helps with the items they provided for them,” she said.

More good will come. An employee who participated in the event asked her sons’ school if they would be willing to make ornaments as well. The school is planning to have students make 100 ornaments in time for Children’s Friend holiday drive kickoff in November.

For more information on Children’s Friend, go to: http://www.cfsri.org/.


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