THE AMAZING STORY OF THE
The Filomena Fund was created as a result of the spontaneous generosity of viewers of "Caught in Providence", which broadcasts the actual proceedings of the Providence Municipal Court.
"Caught in Providence" had aired in the Rhode Island television market for 25 years. In 2015, the a Facebook page was created and made the proceedings available around the world. Since then, Caught in Providence has amassed over
13 million followers on it's social media platforms with over 5 BILLION views. It also aired on national television for 2 years. It is an internet sensation and shines a light of fairness on the judicial system.
It is a courtroom like no other. The Chief Judge, Frank Caprio, dispenses justice with kindness, compassion, and humor. If a motorist brings their children to court, Judge Caprio will often bring the child to the bench and have the child participate in determining the outcome of their parents case. This is a valuable experience for the child, and the parents!
Many of the motorists that appear in court are there because they can't afford to pay the fines and penalties associated with their traffic offenses. Some of these hardships, after being shared online, have had a tremendous impact on people that view the cases on social media.
Judge Frank Caprio & Filomena Caprio
A few years ago, Ms. Angie Chesser was moved by what she saw while watching Caught in Providence. Although Angie, a single mother, dealt with a tight budget, she sent a letter and donation to Judge Caprio. She asked that it be used to help someone that was down on their luck. This donation was unsolicited, born in Ms. Chesser's heart and from her generous spirit. Judge Caprio used her donation to help someone and read Ms. Chesser's letter. When that case was aired, generous people from around the world spontaneously responded by following Angie's example and "paying it forward". Thus, the Filomena Fund was born.
The fund is named after Judge Caprio's mother, Filomena Caprio. Filomena was a first generation American whose parents were born in Italy. She was an inspiration to all that knew her. A successful life for Filomena was not based upon material comforts or financial gain, but rather on providing a loving environment for her family, and helping anybody that was in need. Her very existence was defined by her generous spirit. Filomena's life was dedicated to doing whatever necessary to ensure that her childrens' lives would be substantially better than hers. She understood that her children, and all the children of immigrants, could access unlimited opportunity if they stayed in school, followed the rules, went to college, and provided help to others. Her wisdom, intellect, and loving nature provided an education for a young Francesco (Frank) Caprio that would help to define his life, and, eventually, his demeanor on the bench.
It is fitting that Filomena's memory be honored as the name of the fund that receives donations from around the world to help an unnamed person that may be down on their luck.