Dec 21, 2013


Mount Saint Charles Participates in the Gingerbread Express at a Providence Elementary School

Category: News Room
Posted by: Craig

Mount Saint Charles Participates in the Gingerbread Express at a Providence Elementary School

Woonsocket On Wednesday, December 18th, MSC volleyball coach Josh D'Abate and members of the girls volleyball team went to the William D'Abate Elementary School (K-5) in Providence, which is the second poorest school in the country with an average income of less than $14,000/household, to join forces with other local volunteers to participate in the Gingerbread Express. 

Also known as "Gingerbread Day," this year's event marked the program's 24th year of service to the William D'Abate School and to local families. The school was named after Coach D’Abate’s grandfather who was part of the city council for 20 years and served as a state senator for 10 years. William D’Abate was a huge champion for public education and as a result the school was named after him in the early 1970s. Since his passing, William D’Abate’s family has turned his mission and vision into a living legacy through the Gingerbread Express. 

During the holiday season, all students in the William D'Abate School are adopted by various groups and families and are given toys through the Gingerbread Express. In return, the students make Christmas ornaments for those who adopted them in this gift exchange and for all of the volunteers who help on the delivery day.

Leading up to the day of the event, toys are brought to the National Education Association of RI (NEARI) by the people who have adopted each student. A trailer is then filled with these gifts and brought to the school. The Mount girls spent the morning helping distribute the gifts and other treats to the students. Coach D’Abate said, "We're fortunate to be in a position to give back during this time of year. Our girls really enjoy being part of this event. It brings a special meaning to this time of year for a lot of these young children. Our girls also get to experience the true meaning of Christmas in the sense of giving during this holiday season."

In attendance were the Providence Chief of Police, the President of NEARI, members of the Providence Police force, and local politicians.   In the past, the Providence fire chief and mayor have participated as well as guests from out of state and national speakers.  The day is filled with festive music, gingerbread cookies, and the telling of a “Gingerbread Day” themed story. It is a great holiday event that truly celebrates the season.