Posts By Collette Foundation

A Visit from our Charity of the Year

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Last week, we had some special guests at the Collette headquarters: Louise Dinsmore, the Co-Founder of the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart and Hope Fund, and two ‘heart’ campers – Dylan and Darrell. Lynne Kelly of the Collette Foundation presented them with a check for $8,674. The Collette Foundation chose the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund as its 2013 Charity of the Year. The funding will support the nonprofit’s mission and Gabrielle’s Heart Camp – the only camp in Rhode Island exclusively for children with heart disease and congenital heart defects.

The total giving is a result of a $5,000 grant by the Collette Foundation as well as a majority of the company’s “casual Friday dollars.” Collette employees donate $1 toward the Charity of the Year when they wish to dress down on Fridays. At the end of the year, the sum of that Dress Down Fund is matched by the Collette Foundation. In addition, Collette staff volunteered at the nonprofit’s various events learning first-hand the needs and impact of this year’s worthy recipient.

The Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund was established with the mission to become a recognized resource to provide educational, emotional, recreational and financial support to children and families impacted by congenital heart disease, heart defects and severe feeding issues in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The nonprofit was founded by Jeffrey and Louise Dinsmore, shortly after their daughter Gabrielle lost her battle against a congenital heart defect. Despite being diagnosed with heart disease days after birth, the Dinsmore family strived to create a normal environment in the midst of medications, doctor appointments and surgeries. As a result, the family established the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund to serve as a resource for other affected families.

To learn more about the Gabrielle Dinsmore Heart & Hope Fund, please visit

PEEL Youth Leaders – Canada

With our support and funding, PCYI hosted its first Peel Youth Leaders Conference on July 23, 2013, to build the capacity of young people in Peel to take on meaningful leadership roles in our community. Participants included PCYI’s Youth Advisory Council members, and other youth leaders, or aspiring leaders, in the region.

Providing Relief in Times of Need

In a little over a week, we will be getting ready to sit down with family and loved ones for a Thanksgiving meal. There’s so much to be thankful for during the holiday season. When we think about the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan has brought over the Philippines, we can be thankful for the ability to do something to help – and to be part of an organization that is making an effort to help.

In two days, the Collette Foundation will send a check for $25,000 to our partner, Plan International, to support their massive aide and relief efforts. In addition to that check, we will provide a match for any donation received from our employees and friends. So far, the results have been great. The team is committed to giving back to the people in the Philippines something whose lives have been turned upside down.

For those still wishing to contribute: you can visit and click on DONATE on the far right. Or send a check to the Attn of: Donna Warner at 162 Middle Street, Pawtucket, RI 02860. Spread the word to friends, families and anyone who you think might want to be a part of this great effort at this thankful time of year.

Pink Warriors Give Back


PT Warriors Team

The Collette Foundation donated $5,000 to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation and foundation volunteers raised $7,000 more during National Breast Cancer Awareness month to bring the total giving to this wonderful organization to an impressive $12,000. One of the volunteers remarked, “‘Flames of Hope’ is an appropriate name for the weekend event as we encourage all battling breast cancer to continue the fight. The Collette Foundation is “paying it forward” and all of its volunteers are advocates for change in behavior and healthy living.  We are strong, we are proud and together we make a difference.”

Tourism Cares: Plimoth Plantation

What an epic Tourism Cares event! More than 275 volunteers from 21 states and 113 companies donated $160,000.00 of labor to enhance the museum’s authentic timber palisade, visitor center, and grounds, including the Wampanaog Homesite; Mayflower II, now a 54 year-old wind vessel; Burial Hill, recently listed in the Register of Historic Places; and the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Go team!

Supporting Peruvian Promise


The Collette Foundation’s Peru project, Peruvian Hearts, launched a wonderful program called Peruvian Promise that has been incredibly successful.

This leadership program was created to introduce Smart-Girl curriculum in combination with vocational guidance, opportunities for mentorship and full scholarships to secondary and post-secondary education for a group of 16 girls.

The classroom of girls was chosen based on their academic ability, work ethic, service work, and core values which include integrity, compassion and respect for others.

One of the program’s main goals is to deepen families’ understanding of the value of girls’ education and the power their daughters will have in transforming the lives of their families once they have completed their schooling and have established themselves in a career.

The Collette Foundation looks forward to continuing to support Peruvian Promise as well as Peruvian Hearts, and seeing all that these girls can accomplish!

Canadian Rotary Clubs Team Up to Help Tenderfeet


When Ontario-resident John Coxon walked through the doors of Tenderfeet Education Center in Riruta, Kenya, what he found transformed him. The children listened so attentively to their teacher that they did not even notice they had visitors at first; and their eagerness for learning and being in school was something that inspired him. Upon Coxon’s return home, he rallied support from Rotary District 7010 in Canada, specifically from the Rotary Clubs of Lindsay and Fenelon Falls to donate $8,500 for school uniforms, athletic attire, and supplies.

“As a Rotarian, the support of education is a strong focus in our efforts to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace,” he said.  “The visit to Tenderfeet Education Center was such a moving experience. We admired the teaching staff for their dedication and the love that they displayed toward the students. The children were genuinely engaged in learning. They are fed and their health is looked after, too.”

Developed to aid orphans and other vulnerable children of pre-school through fifth-grade age, the Tenderfeet Education Center focuses on creating a positive and safe learning environment for children. The Center was founded and is directed by a passionate woman named Mama Margaret Nyabuto whose motivation has paved the way for children to create fulfilling lives with good education and a strong sense of self-worth.

When Coxon spoke to the two Rotary Clubs upon his return, they were both motivated to help because without Tenderfeet most of these children would not have an opportunity for an education. Raising these funds to support the uniforms (a requirement in public school institutes in Kenya) is just the beginning; there are more plans in the works for new ways to help these inspiring children.

Tourism Cares: NY

Check out this great video highlighting the wonderful work of volunteers to restore Coney Island and surrounding areas from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

South Africa Hippo Rollers: Recent Delivery!

A group of Collette Foundation volunteers recently did a Hippo Roller drop off in the village of Kgautswane, South Africa. To date, more than 800 hippo rollers have been delivered to this community, truly enhancing the daily lives of those who live there.

From the recipients: The Collette Foundation once again personally delivered another 100 Hippo water Rollers to community members living at Kgautswane in South Africa. Clara Masinga facilitated and coordinated the handover which left an indelible mark on the donors. The beneficiaries were so grateful to receive their own Hippo roller – at last!

About this project: In South Africa, water is life. Millions of people worldwide are forced to walk long distances on a daily basis to collect the water needed for their families. The Collette Foundation is supporting rural communities in South Africa through a partnership with Hippo Water Rollers. In most communities the water is collected from afar and carried by women in small buckets on their heads. The hard, exhausting task not only leads to injury but simply does not provide enough clean water to support their families. Hippo Water Rollers were designed to alleviate the problem. These barrel-shaped containers hold, transport and store 90 liters of water. The rollers are so easy to use, children and the elderly are able to operate a full roller over any terrain. The use of Hippo Rollers in these remote villages allows for approximately five times the amount of water to be collected in far less time.

Volunteers Walk for March of Dimes… again!


The MOD Squad Does It Again!

A team of Collette Foundation volunteers laced up their sneakers and walked together in support of the March of Dimes. About 5 years ago, the team was dubbed the MOD Squad. This year, 21 volunteer walkers who raised over $9,000 for the March of Dimes. The Collette Foundation donated $3,000 towards their efforts for a grand total of over $12,000! Walk on, MOD Squad!