2019-01-17 / Opinion

The Message of Giving Spreads

This week, the spirit of giving has manifested itself again with two examples of “island” generosity. In recognition of the many services the U.S. Coast Guard unit at Castle Hill provides for our community, Seamen's Church Institute in Newport sent out the call on Jan. 14 to assist those servicemen and women and their families who are not being paid due to the government shutdown. While the Coast Guard cannot accept cash, Seamen’s will use any money donated to purchase food, gas or other helpful gift cards, and deliver them directly to our local Coast Guard unit. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square or online at seamensnewport.org/donations/donate-tosci. All donations must be clearly marked “For Coast Guard.”

Earlier this month, restaurateur Richard Sardella issued a challenge to the business community on Aquidneck Island in support of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center. Sardella’s Ristorante Italiano will donate a percentage of gross sales or $10,000, whichever is greater, over the three-day holiday weekend from Jan. 19 to 21, and he asked others to follow his lead.

On Tuesday, the MLK Center announced that Nicholas and Indira Schorsch, Jr., Sloane L. Schorsch, Victoria N. Schorsch, Brendan and Tessa O’Donnell and Zoey D. Schorsch have, collectively, accepted Sardella’s challenge and will make a $10,000 gift to the center. The Schorsch siblings and their families spend much of the year in Newport County.

According to a release sent by the center, Nick Schorsch, Jr. speaking for his siblings, said, “Over the holidays, our families reflected on our good fortune and our desire to make an impactful gift to the community we all love and call home. When we learned of Richard Sardella’s incredible generosity, it inspired us to make our gift public, in the hopes of encouraging others to give.

“When she was a student at St. George’s School, Zoey volunteered for the center and it really formed an impression on her,” he continued.

“These gifts come at a time when demand for our services is at an all-time high,” said Heather Strout, MLK Center executive director. “People like Richard, and Nick and his sisters ensure we can keep our critical programs running for the kids, families and seniors in our community who need them most. To learn about these gifts in the month when we honor Dr. King is just icing on the cake.”

These examples of generosity show an incredible kindness. For most of us, a donation in the thousands of dollars is not possible. But remember that every $10 or $20 quickly adds up. In the next few weeks, we hope we can report how the message of giving spread to bolster the MLK programs and to help our local Coast Guard unit.

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