Heart of Revere beating stronger than ever

by Sheldon Ocker

You won’t find Torina White’s name on the Heart of Revere website, even though in a real sense, White is the Heart of Revere.

When the Revere Local Schools Board of Education honored her earlier this year, White sat in quiet anonymity as Bonnie Simonelli, Revere’s at-risk student coordinator, described how White turned Heart of Revere into a valuable community asset. The spotlight, White said, should shine on Heart of Revere and not on her.

Fair enough. Not everyone in the Revere school district, that is, mostly Bath and Richfield, has heard the name Heart of Revere.

In 2016, White moved to Bath Township from Brentwood, California, 60 miles east of the Napa Valley, with two school-age daughters and volunteered for the PTA. Eventually she became vice president.

She is also a member of and volunteer for Bath Business Association and Bath-Richfield Kiwanis Club.

White noticed that even in an affluent area like the Revere school district, there are families in need.

“I talked with students, parents and staff and saw there was a need for clothing,” White said. “Then I saw the same need when I went on Facebook. I asked Bonnie and she said ‘yes, there is a need.’”

A nonprofit organization

White then figured out how to make Heart of Revere into a certified nonprofit organization.

She began soliciting donations of gently used clothing for kids ranging from kindergarten, to fifth grade, to eighth grade, to high school. Some kids needed school clothes, others needed something to wear to the prom, still others felt unease going to job interviews without the proper business attire. Heart of Revere supplied clothes to any kid for virtually any occasion. And still does.

White had no warehouse or garage to store the clothes, so they landed in her house, where outside were 50 chickens, two beehives and three goats. The clothes were safe inside the house, with a boxer, two labs and two cats on guard.

It wasn’t long before Heart of Revere was handing out cash to students who couldn’t pay school fees or who came up short of what was needed for school trips, including the annual eighth-grade trip to Washington, DC. White seldom says no if the need is legitimate.

Heart of Revere currently has a list of 36 families who have asked for help. Most are not one and off recipients. White said she delivers nine to 11 boxes of clothing every month.

She also provides annual Thanksgiving dinners for families. She buys the food and delivers the meals, sometimes to doorsteps.


There are some Heart of Revere recipients whom White has never seen. “Some places, I drop off clothing and leave,” she said.

Maintaining the privacy of those she helps is a high priority. Her four volunteers promise in writing not to divulge the identities of any recipient.


Keeping and adding volunteers is a concern for White.

“My biggest worry is if volunteers don’t have kids in school, they might not want to do this anymore,” she said. “But I do have a waiting list of volunteers.”

Heart of Revere moved into a new renovated structure on Ira Road in June, which will house all donated clothing. Volunteers and businesses donated time, money and materials to complete the building construction.

The building is owned by Russ Price, of Russ Realty, who is allowing Heart of Revere to use the building at no charge.

Said White, “With our new space … we welcome anyone to browse through our inventory, with the friendly options to take, swap or borrow, and warmly invite others to make a cash donation for any merchandise they’re interested in.”

Plans are to offer an in-person shopping experience by mid-August with dates and hours of operation to be determined.

In addition to clothing, Heart of Revere needs cash. White has received $20,000 from the Orr Foundation, $9,000 from the Bath Community Fund, $3,600 from the Bath-Richfield Kiwanis, $2,000 from Nest Schools and $3,000 from an anonymous donor.

She also organized a fundraiser last year that raised $2,200. Another will be held this year. Funds are used to support the financial needs of students participating in Revere affiliated programs.


This year, Heart of Revere awarded its first annual scholarship to Revere High senior Andrew Long. He received $1,000 and a compass bearing the coordinates of Revere High School.

Long was one of 10 applicants and criteria included enrollment at Revere High, volunteer experiences, attending a college, trade school or vocational school this fall and plans to further volunteerism efforts.

Long tutored high school students last summer to prepare for the SAT exams. Additionally, his time as a rooftop garden volunteer at Rainbow Babies Children’s Hospital was what inspired him to major in architecture at Syracuse University. He said he “helped provide a moment of normalcy outside the hospital walls.”

“This solidified his understanding … that organizations like Heart of Revere can connect their members with the community and highlight the importance of providing those with limited resources the chance to improve their lives, both inside and outside their homes.” said White.

Anyone wishing to contribute cash or gently used clothing should visit the Heart of Revere website or Facebook page. Email heartofrevere@gmail.com to schedule a donation pickup. ∞

Heart of Revere completed construction of its new home on Ira Road this spring. Photo submitted.

Photo (main /above): Torina White (l) stands with missionaries from Bethel Lutheran Church Kris Burkett, John Burkett and Jim Kerr, who repaired and installed flooring, painted and built an outdoor porch structure at the new building. Photo submitted.