Neighborhood Health celebrates 25th anniversary with flash mob, donations

MEMBERS OF NEIGHBORHOOD HEALTH Plan of Rhode Island, Help the Homeless RI and House of Hope Community Development Corp. gather during Neighborhood's 25th anniversary celebration, during which it donated $2,500 each to Help the Homeless and House of Hope. / COURTESY CONSTANCE BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

SMITHFIELD – A flash mob dance and a giant 25 formed by nearly 500 Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island employees marked the insurer’s 25th anniversary last week, along with donations to two nonprofits.

As part of Neighborhood’s 25th Anniversary Charitable Giving Program, employees selected Cranston-based Help the Homeless RI and House of Hope, of Warwick, for donations of $2,500 each.

Both nonprofits expressed their thanks, and said the money will have an impact on Rhode Island’s homeless population.

“Our goal is to connect Rhode Island’s homeless to services so they can move off the streets and into their own place,” said Andrea Smith, executive director of Help the Homeless RI. “Until that time, [we] provide basic human needs such as winter essentials, sleeping bags and tents, and our volunteers provide 400 meals in three communities every Sunday.”

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Laura Jaworski, executive director of House of Hope Community Development Corp., said she was excited to learn that the group had been chosen for a donation.

“It truly is an honor to be recognized by those working within Neighborhood who often see firsthand the challenges faced by those experiencing homelessness and recognize our efforts to solve this critical issue,” Jaworski said.

Neighborhood held its anniversary celebration in its Smithfield parking lot. The nonprofit began serving members in 1994 and has increased to a current membership of about 200,000.

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