EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — University Orthopedics this week officially kicked off its season of giving by making a donation to Holiday Express in Central Falls.
Central Falls Police Chief, Col. Daniel J. Barzykowski, who is also president of the local charity, accepted a $5,000 donation from University Orthopedics on Monday during a check presentation ceremony at the practice’s Kettle Point location.
Central Falls Holiday Express – with the help of donations, grants, fundraising, and corporate sponsorships – provides various initiatives and holiday events free of charge for the residents of Central Falls, including hosting dinners and providing gifts for children.
“This is huge because we couldn’t do any fundraisers this year. This is going to help us tremendously. It’s going to help a lot of families,” Col. Barzykowski said. “There are always good people out there looking to step up and help and this is just one more example of that.”
University Orthopedics employee Deb Garvin’s family founded the charity and was instrumental in Monday’s donation.
“My parents started this charity many years ago. Having something that’s so near and dear to the heart and then being able to receive a contribution from the place where I work to this organization, it’s a very powerful gift,” Garvin said. “There are thousands of kids in the city who just don’t have a lot during the holiday season. So, we’ll be able to give clothing, food, and gifts to those children and keep up the work that we’ve been doing for so many years. Without this donation, we may not have been able to reach as many children and families as we typically do. We’re so thankful.”
As part of its commitment to giving back to the community, University Orthopedics’ Charitable Giving Committee (CGC) reviews requests from employees for monetary donations to various local and national causes each year. The CGC also supports employees’ charitable initiatives including collecting winter blankets to donate to local shelters and a Holiday Gift Drive. As part of that mission, the CGC has also committed to donate $3,200 total to the following causes this holiday season:
- Project Hand Up in West Warwick, RI
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Newport, RI
- Pawtucket Soup Kitchen in Pawtucket, RI
- Amos House in Providence, RI
- Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center in Pawtucket, RI
“We formed this committee to give back to the community. It’s another way to give our mission statement a little more oomph,” said Dr. Paul Fadale, a member of the Charitable Giving Committee. “We see thousands upon thousands of patients across Southern New England each year. We’re part of their communities. While there are many people we will never see, people we won’t get to know, we do know they are in need. Everybody wins when we give back. Especially this year, when things have been so difficult.”
“The holidays are a special time, but for so many Newport County families, already-strained budgets and housing & food insecurity make the holidays difficult. In these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, the holidays are going to be incredibly challenging,” said Heather Hole Strout, Executive Director of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. “The MLK is committed to helping make this holiday season less stressful for our neighbors in need, through our Holiday and Thanksgiving food distributions and through our Santa’s Workshop gift distribution program for children. University Orthopedics’ generosity will go so far to help us ensure bountiful holiday tables and put gifts under so many trees. Thank you!”
So as not to forget the people who make this all possible, University Orthopedics is also providing Thanksgiving turkeys and vegan alternatives to all UOI employees. To support local businesses, the birds will be purchased from Warwick Poultry.