Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 07-30-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 LINCOLN 15 Rhode Island-based organizations to see whether they could help the council fund their food bank, which members began in March in response to COVID-19. Rossi said each of the six organiza- tions denied their requests, responding that the Columbus name would not be well received by their members this year. The council later reached out to several local news outlets to pub- licize their upcoming blood drive, said Rossi. He said he assumed a blood drive would be "apolitical," with the goal of saving lives, but that three media outlets didn't respond to requests for publication. The club has teamed up with the Rhode Island Blood Center to hold a blood drive on Aug. 3 between 4 and 7 p.m. to collect needed donations. They're offering raffles for participants, as well as free refreshments and other giveaways. "One said their parent company advised that they shouldn't be associ- ated with the name Columbus," Rossi said. Ray Hedenskog, Grand Knight of the Lincoln Council, said, "We were just trying to get the word out about the blood drive, but it doesn't fit their narrative." Hedenskog said the Columbus Club at 171 Jenckes Hill Road is "a commu- nity center available with open arms to aid everybody and anybody. We're all unpaid volunteers who do the char- itable work because we can." The club offers its rental hall free of charge to local nonprofits, veterans and other groups for meetings and fundraisers, only charging a rental fee for private parties. Rossi said monthly rentals helped pay their overhead and utility bills. When the coronavirus hit Rhode Island, gatherings were restricted and the club could no longer operate as it normally would. Instead of clos- ing its doors, members organized a weekly food drive they call "Leave No Neighbor Behind." Hedenskog said the Lincoln Council was one of the few Knights of Columbus groups in the nation to offer such a service. Though the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization, Rossi said they've helped "anyone who asks," including churches of other denomina- tions. "If we find out someone doesn't have food on a Friday night we'll bring a box to them. Sometimes we deliver baby formula and diapers. There's a lot of hurt out there right now," he said. Rossi and Hedenskog said they applied to seven local organizations for any amount of money to help with their food drive, hoping to purchase some perishable items for families. They say they were denied each time, quietly over the phone, based on their organization's name. "In the meantime we collected just under 3,000 pounds of food, distribut- ed 70 or 80 cases of meals ready-to-eat and aided more than nine charitable organizations and churches in the Blackstone Valley and in Providence," he said. "We're bringing huge stores of food every week for them to distribute to hungry families." This week, Rossi said they were able to feed roughly 5,500 people. "Not one charitable organization or person declined the food, know- ing that it came from the Knights of Columbus," Rossi said. Call 401-333-1492 to learn more about helping the club with its efforts. The Valley Breeze is committed to keeping quality news stories like this one free to our readers. You can be a huge part of this local journalism success story by making a one- time or monthly contribution to what we do every week at Thank you as always for reading. COLUMBUS From Page One RAY HEDENSKOG, Grand Knight of the Lincoln Council Knights of Columbus, said the group's asso- ciation with the name "Columbus" has overshad- owed their charitable endeavors in recent months. 772 Dexter St. • Central Falls, RI 401.724.6674 M ASSUD & SONS FLOOR COVERING, INC. Family Owned & Operated Celebrating Our 48th Anniversary REG. #20813 Sale ends 8/31/2020 with Great Savings on New Flooring! Christmas In July SALE! Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 4x6 $ 19 99 5x8 $ 35 99 6x9 $ 49 99 BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL High End Designer Area Rugs 3 ROOM PACKAGE Based on 40 sq. yds. + tax Now thru 8/31/19 Cash/n/Carry $ 4 29 Sq. ft. BRUCE HARDWOOD FLOORS SOLID WOOD ALL COLORS 100% Waterproof 100% Kid Proof 100% Pet Proof Starting at LUXURY VINYL PLANK $ 1 69 sq. ft. Christmas JULY! in

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