Preschool gift drive a lesson in generosity


Since the first of the month, Precious Angel’s Child Care Inc. has been collecting gifts for the Big Sisters of Rhode Island. Executive Director and owner of the preschool, Michele Petrocelli, said the giving tree they have in their lobby is stirring up a great deal of generosity within the hearts of students.

“They understand the concept of giving at such a young age,” she said. “It’s such a nice feeling when they walk in because they can’t wait to give to someone in need. I hear some of them saying, ‘mommy, when are we going to bring in our gift?’”

Petrocelli, who works at the preschool with her son and daughter and mother, said the tree was actually the idea of her staff. This year, they wanted to work together and donate instead of doing Secret Santa.

The tree bears ornaments shaped like mittens made from construction paper. The mittens have a gender and a desired gift written on them. The person who chooses a mitten is responsible for getting that present. As of Tuesday, they have accumulated about 200 packages. Their goal is 250.

“I think we are going to surpass that because a lot of parents have been taking blank gloves,” Petrocelli said.

A “blank glove” gives them the option to get any sort of gift they please. They can purchase a present, wrap it, and then write what the gift is on the glove.

“I never thought it would take off like this,” said Petrocelli. “One of my employees already put four gifts under the tree. We’re down to a few gloves now. It’s wonderful to see this tree fill up.”

This Friday is the final day they will be accepting contributions. Members of Big Sisters of Rhode Island will be picking up the donations on Monday the 20th.

“The children are so excited because they are looking at the gifts and they are used to getting the gifts themselves,” Petrocelli said. “They know the gifts aren’t for them, but they are still so happy to be giving.”

Petrocelli’s son, Daniel, also works at the preschool. As the Administrative Director, he ensures the safety of the building. The students call him, “Mr. P.”

“You name it, I do it here,” he said. “The only thing I don’t do is change diapers.”

With a security camera that offers 36 screens, Daniel said he can view every angle of the preschool. He can inspect everything from the parking lot to the rooms within the building.

“I can see what our employees are doing and I can see the children, too,” he said.

Located on Jefferson Park Road, Precious Angel’s is a fully licensed school. The ages of the students range from six-week-old infants to kindergarteners.

“We are in our tenth year and we have such a wonderful school,” Petrocelli said. “We are blessed. I hope what we are doing encourages others to give. It makes me feel good to know we are giving. It is such a kind thing to do.”


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