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Gregg’s Sweetens Deal for Giving Tree Samaritans

Trish Rego, General Manager at Gregg's Restaurant in Warwick, replaces an ornament tag on the restaurant's Giving Tree.
Trish Rego, General Manager at Gregg\’s Restaurant in Warwick, replaces an ornament tag on the restaurant\’s Giving Tree.

Warwick, RI – If you’ve got the heart and time to help less fortunate people enjoy Christmas this year, Gregg’s Restaurant has a slice of its renowned chocolate layer cake for you.

This year, said Gregg’s owner Bobbie Bacon, their giving tree program is poised to distribute about 10,00 gifts to more than 2,700 people from 14 charity organizations across Rhode Island.

When they started, 19 years ago, Bacon said, they were working with two charities. The list has grown over the years for reasons that are obvious when speaking with the restauranteur on the subject.

“It’s hard to say no to people,” Bacon said, “We really do believe in trying to give back.”

Gregg’s has a Giving Tree at each of its four locations, including Post Road in Warwick. Each tree has tags with a description of the person you’re gifting and a list of needs and wishes.

To participate,  you choose an ornament from the tree, shop for that person and return the gifts to any Gregg’s location (Warwick, Providence, East Providence, North Kingston).

By way of appreciation, Gregg’s is rewarding givers with a coupon for a slice of the restaurant’s award-winning Chocolate Layer Cake. The official deadline for drop-offs is Dec. 10, the day before volunteers will help sort and wrap the gifts, but Bacon said they’ll take gifts as late as Dec. 13.

“We never say ‘No,’ Bacon said.

The volunteer sorting and wrapping volunteers include about 250 people comprised of Gregg’s employees, friends, family and customers, Bacon said. They treat the three days of work as a big holiday party, with food and supplies donated by vendors including New England Coffee, Pepsi, and Job Lot.

Since 2006, their base of operations has been provided by the Ferragamo Family, she said, who give them the run of a large building in the city.

Bacon said the Giving Tree program winds up with a visit from Santa Clause at Bishop McVinney School in Providence, where they help about 250 children each year. They aim to make sure some basics are covered, but also focus on fun gifts.

“So we do coats and hats and then we do presents,” Bacon said.

Bacon said the generosity volunteers and donors make the program work each year.

“Rhode Island’s good, I’ll tell you. People want to help,” Bacon said.



Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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