Johnston Senior Center volunteers pack up Spirit of Hope rescue kits


There was a special show of heart-warming helping hands — at the highest level — last Friday morning inside the Johnston Senior Center.

At approximately 8:45, a total of 12 men and women filed into the JSC’s spacious Board Room to volunteer putting what Spirit of Hope President Lou Spremulli called Rescue Kits that will help the homeless and other people in need.

The first order of business though was JSC Executive Director Richard J. DelFino Jr. treating the volunteers to coffee, donuts and muffins before they began forming an assembly line to fill stylish and colorful nylon bags with 19 items ranging from gloves, hats, scarfs, dental items and Mylar blanks, just to name a few.

By 9:54 or thereabouts, the bags were well-stocked and placed in large cardboard boxes for Spremulli, Frank DiMaio and other Spirit of Hope members to deliver to local churches, the Providence Rescue Mission, McCauley House, John Hope Center and other charitable facilities.

“This is very impressive,” DelFino offered of the Spirit of Hope’s second such success story in less than eight days. “This is what we are here for; to partner with community groups and make a difference in the lives of people who are less fortunate than others.”

Moreover, as DelFino pointed out “our goal and mission is to make the center a second home for Johnston’s senior citizens.”

“I’ve never seen so many hand sanitizer containers; there must be 1,000 on this table,” Said Rob Piscioni. “We need more groups and people who make up the Spirit of Hope.”

The JSC’s long board room table was topped with journals, pens, deodorants, wash clothes, soap, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, combs, prayer books, shampoo, Mylar blankets food bars, sanitizers, religious cards and more.

“The Spirit of Hope as well as donations and sponsorships from local businesses,” Spremulli said. “Today we received a $5,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation that will be added to Diamond and Gold Sponsorships and will go a long way so can and help those people in need.”

Spremulli, who founded the spirit of Hope with his own money in 2020 when the COVID-19 Crisis was at its height, went on: “We only had about 10 people that turned into a religious group and has been well received as evidenced by the 120 people who came to our recent Community Membership-Appreciation Breakfast at Chelo’s Restaurant in Warwick.”

To which Vice President Paul Orlando, who showed up last Friday morning with the $5,000 check from the RI Foundation, added: “We will continue our mission to serve those in need physically, psychologically and spiritually following the word of God.”

As Spremulli said while thanking the volunteers and DelFino for the JSC’s valuable help: “We do this because it makes us feel good and that’s what God wants us to do. Please, join us and help make a difference in the lives of people in need.”


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