WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A green bucket on a card table in a front lawn is collecting donations for the nearly four dozen families left without a home or the ability to access their belongings after a Warwick apartment complex caught fire over the weekend.
Rhode Islanders may recognize Mayor Frank Picozzi’s front lawn, where he sets up an elaborate Christmas light display every year and raises money for the Tomorrow Fund.
This set the precedent when he put out a bucket on Sunday for the victims of the Les Chateaux apartment complex fire.
“It’s where I usually have the donation box for my Christmas display,” Picozzi said. “People were stopping by all day yesterday. We raised a little over $6,000.”
The mayor said his only publicity was social media.
“I have a big social media reach and word gets out,” he said.
“Our biggest treasure are our people in this community,” Picozzi added. “They just take care of one another, always willing to help.”
While $6,000 is an impressive haul for one day, when split among the victims, each family would receive around $127.
“A lot of them lost everything in their refrigerator and freezers,” Picozzi said. “A lot of them got out with just their valuables and a few possessions. We don’t know when they’re going to get back in.”
Picozzi said this is a fluid fundraiser based on the victims’ evolving needs, so he’s not sure exactly how long it will last, but he anticipates it will run at least through the end of the week.