Cranston Chatter

Posted 12/30/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Need help with your mortgage? RI Housing's Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) program is offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19

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Cranston Chatter


Need help with your mortgage?

RI Housing’s Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) program is offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Loan proceeds may provide eligible homeowners with up to six months of mortgage payment assistance and a mortgage will be recorded on the homeowner’s property.

Learn more about the loan program and eligibility at

At the Cranston Library/Barrington Books Retold

Cranston Public Library is thrilled to partner with Barrington Books Retold to bring authors to patrons for readings, conversations, and programs. All events are virtual until further notice. Books are available through Ocean State Libraries. Contact Barrington Books Retold at 401-432-7222 to order copies for purchase.

The first event will be on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 3 to 4 p.m. on Zoom and will feature visiting author Dr. Michael Fine reading from his book, “The Bull and Other Stories.” The author will give a talk and a reading and take questions from the audience.

Fine is a writer, community organizer, family physician, public health official, and author of “Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy – All at the Same Time” and “Abundance,” a romantic thriller set in Rhode Island and in Liberia in the aftermath of the Liberian Civil Wars of 1989-2020.

Fine's new book, “The Bull and Other Stories,” tells 10 stories about people all across the country who struggle, survive and see their world through lost hopes, inappropriate loves and irrational dreams.

These events are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Please contact the library for assistance at 401-943-9080, ext. 3, or email Zoom details will be emailed the day before the event.

Activities at the Cranston Enrichment Center

Limited activities will be resuming at the Cranston Enrichment Center on the following dates:

Billiards, Monday, Jan. 4; Exercise Made Easy, Wednesday, Jan. 13; Line Dancing, Wednesday, Jan. 13; and Exercise Made Easy, Friday, Jan. 15.

Space is limited and registration is required. Please contact Kathi in the Programs Office at 780-6216.

CCAP Emergency Housing Assistance

The Comprehensive Community Action Program’s Emergency Housing Assistance program assists individuals/families living in Cranston, Coventry, Scituate and Foster with back rent, security deposits, mortgage assistance, late fees associated with back rent or mortgage, moving costs and utilities. Funding is limited. For more information, call CCAP at 467-7013 or visit

Neighbors helping neighbors

Kevin and Barbara Dwares of Cranston are still in search of much needed items to help others.

They are not collecting clothing or household items, but are still seeking more items that are needed for donation. Thank you to everyone who has supported this cause.

McAuley House is in need of canned goods like canned vegetables, apple sauce, canned fruit, powdered milk, coffee, tea, corn, tuna (all shelf stable). The Dwareses are collecting shelf0stable snacks like granola bars, peanut butter cookies, raisins, pasta, tuna, crackers, bread and more to help those in need. Hand warmers are also needed during this time to be handed out by Help the Homeless RI.

McAuley House also is need of new packaged underwear, socks and T-shirts for adults and children.

Also needed are new or gently used hats, gloves, and scarves for adults or kids.

McAuley House is also desperately in need of full-sized toiletry items – shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, powder, shaving cream, hair brushes etc.

Please drop items off at the Dwares’ home at 46 Balsam Court in Cranston’s Garden City neighborhood. Please put them in the plastic container located near the breezeway. If bins are full please leave the donations in plastic bags (in case of rain) under one of the awnings at front or side door. The bin will be outside every day all week.

Zoom-ba program

The MS Dream Center will offer a virtual Chair Zoom-ba Program sponsored by Maguire Disability Law, with the class being instructed by Michelle Calise.

Classes will be offered nationally on Mondays at 1 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. for people with MS and their loved ones. There is no fee to participate and classes can accommodate up to 100 on a first come, first serve basis.

Please contact Anne at to register for the classes and to complete a signed liability waiver, which is required of all participants.

The MS Dream Center provides a dedicated resource and support facility in which people living with multiple sclerosis, and their care partners, may engage in a wide variety of interactive social and educational activities, workshops and therapies. The MS Dream Center’s goal is to bring awareness to the disease and reach out to those living with it, empowering them and offering important respite opportunities for care partners.

Free dental assistant training

CCAP is excited to announce a new, free dental assistant training program. This 13-week program will be run using a hybrid model, with classroom work using Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays and hands on clinical sessions Fridays and Saturday mornings at CCAP’s Coventry dental office.

Participants must live in Rhode Island, be 18-24 years old, and have a clean BCI and a high school diploma or GED. Call the Cranston Youth Center at 562-8325 today.

Troop 22 looking for Scouts

Boy Scout Troop 22 Cranston is looking for new Scouts. Following all the BSA and state of Rhode Island safety protocols, the troop is meeting, hiking and camping. It has a full schedule of activities planned for the 2020-21 program year. Troop 22 is affiliated with girls’ Troop 13-G, which is also looking for new members. Both units meet at the Edgewood Congregational Church, 1788 Broad St., at 7 p.m. on most Thursdays.

The program is for youth ages 11 to 18. For younger children, Troop 22 also has a relationship with Cub Scout Pack 2 Cranston. Anyone interested is invited to call Paul Kelley at 401-595-6726 for more information.

Mindful Mondays

Mindful Monday is a weekly drop-in meditation group open to all teens 13 to 18 years old. Brief meditations are facilitated by CCAP’s Community Response Program team members. The program will be held on Mondays, on Zoom, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact Jennifer Pelkey at or 318-2555.

Did you know?

Did you know that over 360 million glasses of sparkling wine are consumed on New Year’s Eve?

Enjoying a glass of champagne is a common New Year’s tradition. Originally popularized in the court of Louis XIV, the associations with wealth and royalty trickled down to the middle classes as a form of “aspirational drinking.”

Over time, bubbly became associated with celebration, and in the 19th century, newspapers began to associate champagne with holiday family gatherings. By the 20th century, champagne became a must for New Year’s Eve, and it’s now a staple of New Year’s celebrations.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at Photos in jpg format are accepted and news can include community events, promotions, academic news and nonprofit events. Email today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald.

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