PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A number of local businesses and colleges stepped up this week to help some children and their new foster parents celebrate their first holiday season as a family.
Adoption Rhode Island collects gifts each year for children spending their first Christmas with a new family, but this year they wanted to do more.
Five days before Christmas, put a call out for experiences and events that would promote bonding between the children and their new foster families.
“Opportunities for kids and families to really just have that bonding and do things together they haven’t done before,” Emily Lyon of Adoption RI said.
Lyon said one donation snowballed into several, ranging from restaurant gift cards to zoo tickets.
“Seeing all of the giving from people we don’t even know, it’s pretty amazing,” she added.
Adoption RI employee Amanda Choiniere was one of several who spent Friday evening wrapping the experience gifts. She said she knows personally how emotional the first Christmas is since she has adopted two children of her own.
“Having these experiences and being together is absolutely priceless,” Choiniere said. “You cannot put a price tag on it at all.”
More than a dozen families will receive experience gifts this year, according to Lyon, and more than 200 children in total will be given gifts from Adoption RI.
“On Christmas day, they’re going to be opening the gifts together… and that’s impactful,” Lyon said.