A Holiday Gift Drive at Panera Bread on Old Tower Road in Wakefield made the holidays brighter for children and families served by Children’s Friend based in Providence, as more than 30 presents were collected for the organization by customers and employees.
For the fourth consecutive year, customers participated in the gift drive by simply selecting a gift tag with a specific child’s first name on it while at the Panera counter, and then purchasing the “wish list” items noted. Each gift tag was unique with a different child, age and list of gifts on it. Participating customers would then bring the wrapped gifts to Panera with the child's gift tag attached.
Donated gifts were delivered to Children's Friend, a Providence-based non-profit organization, whose volunteers then matched the gifts to their respective children. Founded in 1834, Children's Friend 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 serves more than 32,000 of Rhode Island's most vulnerable children and their families annually through a variety of programs.
In addition, the Wakefield Panera Bread along with other locations, recently announced a partnership with Feeding America where all donations collected through the company's ongoing Panera Cares Community Breadbox Program will go directly to local food banks.