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The Pawtucket RI Lions Club 2015 "Person of the Year"

The Pawtucket RI Lions Club named Eileen Hernandez as their 2015 “Person of the Year”. Eileen has been the Executive Director of the Children’s Shelter of Blackstone Valley for twenty-five years. The shelter provides compassionate care for abused and neglected young boys and girls. Eileen founded the Southern Rhode Island Volunteers, and directed the South County Head Start program prior to her work with the children’s shelter.

The award was presented to her by Lions Club President Dan Andrews at the organization’s 26th Annual Sharing Celebration. The Pawtucket Lions Club holds various events throughout the year in order to raise funds for deserving local charitable programs of which the shelter is one.

Our Visit to the Peacelove Studio

We recently participated in a “Paint For Peace” Worskshop at the Peacelove Studio located at 171 Main Street in Pawtucket. The programs there strive to inspire, educate and build self-confidence through creative expression, inclusion and a message of hope. Our boys and girls enjoyed themselves as they got to paint “what they liked or what they felt”.

Thank you, Peacelove Studios!

The Deion Branch Foundation Christmas 2012 Shopping

New England Patriots Wide Receiver Deion Branch and the Deion Branch Foundation, (DBF)  partnered with Target and the Children’s Shelter of Blackstone Valley to help make the season bright for a group of children wanting to have a happy Christmas.  Deion and his family took the group to a New England area Target to make sure their season was bright.   
The shelter was created as a safe haven for children, a place where children will have an opportunity to receive support and give them a chance to be children. Unfortunately, many that they serve have been put in abusive situations whether it’s physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. The Children’s Shelter of Blackstone Valley is an emergency safe home, a neutral setting, where children can begin to heal.

The director of the shelter Eileen Hernandez says “We are appreciative of the Branch family and Foundation for remembering young children who have experienced abuse and neglect. This is an opportunity for the boys and girls to select something they like, as opposed to going without or settling for what was given. These children rarely get to choose things that they like. The best part of the event is the personal involvement of the whole Branch family to help the children with their selections. Shola and Deion also want their own children to realize the importance of helping others, so their children participated. The Branch family has made Christmas better for our boys and girls.”

The Deion Branch Foundation works tirelessly throughout the year to help children and children’s causes. The Deion Branch Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer support to children’s mental, physical, emotional well-being and for those inflected with meningitis. The DBCF’s mission is to help with research and to find a cure to ease the struggles for children like Deiondre, Deion’s son. The foundation’s goal is to assist by providing programs and initiatives aimed at improving their quality of life.  

Deion said that “recent events have reminded me of how important children are and that they deserve a chance. They deserve love, food, shelter and a good education. This shopping event has a special meaning for me and my family to cherish every moment and to count our blessings as we end 2012 and head into 2013”.  


We thank the Branch family for remembering these children once again this year!

Our children LOVE Yoga!

Yoga classes are going on at the shelter each week with the co-operation of the Shri Yoga Studio of Pawtucket and the Navigant Credit Union.  Children between the ages of 2 through 12 are responding with great enthusiasm! This is an opportunity for them to engage in healthy exercise and relaxation.  Like adults, kids benefit from regular practices that promote health and emotional balance. Yoga can empower these young people and also help them to develop empathy and compassion.

These fun and engaging classes explore yoga poses while kids lengthen and strengthen their bodies with flowing sequences, cooperative games, breathing and relaxation exercises and lessons in self-expression, body-awareness, and social skills. The activity is non-competitive and fun. Students develop strength, flexibility, concentration and confidence. The kids report that yoga feels great and makes them feel strong and happy.  

If observing the class, one would see boys and girls barking in downward dog or hissing like a cobra. There's an incredible amount of creativity and playfulness within the foundation of yoga. Iincorporating animal poses and sounds make yoga more fun for kids. Children love to moo like cows and meow like kitty cats. These noises keep the practice playful and help release tension.

Stress reduction, mind- body connection, physical strength – these are things that benefit kids as well as adults. Partner poses contain valuable lessons for children. Heart-openers encourage trust and sensitivity as children take turns supporting and leaning on one another. Balance poses show kids that together, they can create something beautiful and sustainable. They learn that it's okay to stumble and fall; you just get back up again. Your partner is there if you need a hand.

The new yoga classes have become a highlight of our week! Thank you, Navigant Credit Union and the Shri Yoga Studio!!

Local information on yoga in Pawtucket can be found at

2012 Annual Fashion Show - Step Into Spring

Children’s Shelter of Blackstone Valley
“Step Into Spring”


About 275 people attended our 5th Annual Fashion Show held at the Marriott in downtown Providence.."Step Into Spring" featured the latest fashions for men, women, and children provided by several Rhode Island clothiers. Alison Bologna of WJAR-TV, Channel 10 News served as the show's Master of Ceremonies for the second year in a row.

Sponsors for the event included East Commerce Solutions, Navigant Credit Union, Pawtucket Credit Union, Tanya Creations, Dupuis Oil and Appraisal Solutions. Proceeds for the fashion show help us to provide a therapeutic environment and meaningful activities for the young boys and girls who are unable to remain with their families.

We had a great crowd this year and everyone had fun. We want to thank Alison Bologna who helped make the evening so enjoyable, our Board of Directors who worked so hard to make the show possible, the local businesses that took part in the show, and all the models who participated, including the children who are always one of the show's highlights. We especially want to thank our sponsors for their great support in putting the show together and the staff at the Marriott.

This was the first year the fashion show was held at the Marriott in Providence. The show featured spring fashions from Sassy & Classy, East Greenwich, Our Place Tuxedo, North Providence, Teddy Bearskins, Barrington, dressbarn, Seekonk, MA. and Salon Deniz, Cumberland, who provided the hairstyles and make-up.