Holiday toy drives, dinner honor deceased city resident Silva


EAST PROVIDENCE — Children’s Friend, a leader in improving the well-being and healthy development of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable young children, has launched its annual Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive in memory of noted East Providence resident Joseph Silva, who passed away earlier this year.

Thanks to Mr. Silva's leadership, thousands of books, toys, clothing, and household goods have been donated to families in need for the past 20 years, greatly impacting the communities Children's Friend serve.

For Rhode Island families living in poverty, the holiday season can be a difficult time of year. Many of our neighbors have been hit hard by the economy, so providing even the most basic necessities to small children can be a daily struggle. With your support, Children's Friend can provide Rhode Island’s most vulnerable children and their families with holiday gifts and basic necessities during the season of giving.

Children’s Friend hopes to help 1,200 of Rhode Island’s families this holiday season, the biggest goal ever. To participate, please visit, call the Spirit of Giving Holiday line at 401-276-4346, or email

The family of Mr. Silva, a Children's Friend board member for the annual holiday drive who passed away in February, has taken over for him this year in the hopes of supporting hundreds of families in need. Mr. Silva volunteered his time to this project for two decades and this year Children’s Friend will commemorate his work by holding the 2013 drive in his name.

Mr. Silva ran the very successful toy drive and Christmas Toy Drive Dinner with the support of the Knights of Columbus, local business, friends, family and supporters throughout the state. The drive is in need of new, unwrapped toys, books, gift cards, and or gift items for children ages 0-16-years-old for the toy drive. Any items of product or service provided by local businesses or monetary donations will also be accepted.

For more information on how to help or to arrange drop off or pick up of items locally please call Julie Silva at 401-434-3556 or email or because your help is needed and no donation is too small.

In addition, the annual Christmas Toy Drive Dinner takes place Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 3200 Pawtucket Ave. A reception starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased by contacting Miss Silva at either the aforementioned phone number or email address.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.