PROVIDENCE – More than 300 presents were collected for families at Children’s Friend by Panera Bread customers and employees during a 2013 holiday gift drive at the eatery at 43 Providence Place and 10 other Panera bakery-cafes in Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts.
For the fourth consecutive year, customers participated in the gift drive by going to the counter at their local shop, selecting a gift tag with a specific child’s first name on it, and then purchasing the “wish list” items noted. Each gift tag is special with a different child, age and list of gifts on it. Gifts were then brought back to the respective cafes in a gift bag with the gift tag attached.
Children's Friend, a non-profit organization founded in 1834, is Rhode Island's oldest child welfare organization and a leading provider of child welfare, family support, mental health, and youth development services. With centers in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, Children’s Friend served more than 32,000 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families in 2012.
The agency's programs range from Adoption, Foster Care, Birth Parent Counseling, Child Care and Adoption Support and Preservation, to Dads Making A Difference, WIC, Head Start, Early Head Start, Early Intervention, Family Counseling and Project Connect.