Transforming Grief through Philanthropy

"How can I help?”

That’s the question Bruno Ramieri asked Hasbro Children’s Hospital in 2020 as he tried to cope with immense grief.

At the time, Bruno was about to lose his wife of 60 years, Pauline, due to complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Making matters worse, he couldn’t visit her in the nursing home because of COVID-19 restrictions.


Bruno Ramieri

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’m helping so many kids,” Bruno says. “They are the future.”

One day, while sitting with that pain, Bruno had the idea that doing something for someone else might make him feel better. So, he called the hospital’s development office and asked a gift officer if he could make a donation to buy a piece of lifesaving equipment for children.

“I wanted to give the hospital something they could actually use and that I could actually see,” says Bruno, 83, who is retired and lives in Johnston.

After making some inquiries, the gift officer learned that Hasbro Children’s could use an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine for children with epilepsy.

Bruno didn’t hesitate—he made a $100,000 donation in Pauline’s name. The gift was used to purchase the $60,000 EEG machine, with the remaining funds benefitting the Every Child, Every Day campaign and Radiothon.

“It’s a great feeling to know that I’m helping so many kids,” Bruno says. “They are the future.”

Sadly, Pauline passed away shortly after, in December of 2020. Bruno continues to keep her spirit alive through charitable giving.

Before retiring, Bruno worked in the manufacturing industry in Providence. His wise investments in the stock market have allowed him to donate generously to the hospital and other nonprofit organizations, he says.

He is a big fan of matching gifts—whether he’s the one doing the matching or the one being matched. In 2021 and 2022, he matched $20,000 at the Goodfellas Motorcycle Run, organized by a group in Johnston, bringing the event’s total donation to the hospital to $40,000.

That year he also provided a $10,000 matching gift to a Johnston-based golf fundraiser for the hospital. And he’s a regular Radiothon donor during the Nathan Clark Matching Hour.

“Getting involved with Hasbro Children’s has helped me a whole lot,” Bruno says. “I want others to know that you can turn your pain into something good.”