Project Undercover began in 1992. That’s when our founder and president Richard Fleischer brought home his adopted daughter from India and, already well into his 40s, had his first experience buying diapers. He was dumbfounded by the cost and wondered how less fortunate families could manage such an expense. Convinced that the need was too great to ignore, he, along with longtime friend Frank DePetrillo, decided to do something about it.
Through a unique partnership with the Girl Scouts of RI, Project Undercover began as a small group of volunteers organizing an annual diaper drive. For almost 15 years they were successful in collecting and distributing thousands of diapers every April, but they realized that they were scarcely making a dent in the overall need. With approximately 45,000 Rhode Island kids living in poverty (20,000 under the age of seven), the Project needed to expand.
In 2010, Project Undercover was formalized as a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We have an active volunteer board, and we work with over two-dozen partner agencies around the state to distribute supplies to families in need. Through these unique partnerships we are able to collect diapers, socks, wipes, and underwear and distribute them among community centers and social service agencies according to data from the RI Department of Human Services, allowing us to make the best possible impact. Our goal is to provide these basic necessities to all RI kids living at or below the poverty level.