Adoption RI showered with gifts for youths in need, adoptive families | #specialneeds | #kids

PROVIDENCE — If you need a glimmer of goodwill this holiday season, look no further than Adoption Rhode Island’s offices at 290 West Exchange St. 

Bicycles, sleeping bags, basketballs, Hot Wheels, crockpots, art supplies and winter jackets fill every corner of the agency’s 9,000-square-foot office — space just shy of two basketball courts. 

The agency, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support and permanency for adopted and foster children, has experienced generosity this season as never before in the form of toys and gifts, corporate employees pitching in to pack and wrap, and Rhode Island families “adopting” children in state care for Christmas. The wait staff and bartenders at Fellini’s Pizzeria in Cranston even donated tips to help kids in need.

“Last week, it made me fill up with tears. It was beautiful,” said Darlene Allen, executive director of Adoption Rhode Island. “Honestly, I feel like we need some goodness in our lives right now.”

Adoption Rhode Island's space — an area about twice the size of a basketball court — is filled with holiday gifts.

The Rocchio family, of Providence, shopped for “T,” with 12-year-old Rachel and 9-year-old Rebecca handpicking the gifts for the 17-year-old girl.

“They love the idea that they’re buying for a teenager,” said mom, Sarah Rocchio, who dropped off gift bags at Adoption Rhode Island on her way to volunteer at a soup kitchen. 

The Rocchios contemplate, as they put the gifts together, that there are children in Rhode Island, like T, who aren’t with their parents and lack a stable home. It’s become the family’s annual tradition.

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