By Debra Tanner, Executive Director, Southern Rhode Island Volunteers
Volunteering: Giving of yourself, your time and your talents to our communities.
Through both the local and national media, images of human suffering are brought into our homes every day. When we see people struggling through personal tragedy after a home fire, weather related issues like floods, tornadoes, or hurricanes, most of us wish we could help in some way.
It is a reality that there are residents here in Washington County who are in need every day. Nationally, there are many organizations that ask for financial help, but what about those who can't help financially but still want to contribute? What if they could help with their time, talents and skills?
So what can you do? That depends on what kind of time commitment you want to make. Here are some options for you to consider during this holiday season of giving:
- Isolation can have a devastating effect on aging members of our communities. One hour a week you could visit with an older citizen who is isolated in our rural county. You might talk sports, play cards, go out for coffee, help them do their grocery shopping or provide transportation to medical appointments. Southern Rhode Island Volunteers (SRIV) matches volunteer availability with citizens in need of transportation, allowing for a very flexible opportunity.
- Hunger should never be acceptable in any society. Once a month you could help stock shelves at one of our local food pantries. Once a week or as a substitute you could delivery Meals on Wheels or food commodities from the pantries.
- Volunteer at a weekly after school homework club or mentor a student in need of positive adult role models. SRIV works with local school districts to support our students in need of academic assistance and mentors.
Can’t make a weekly or monthly commitment? How about on occasion?
- Our local CERT Team supports South Kingstown and Narragansett during times of community crisis. Volunteers are provided training, and in the event of a hurricane, blizzard or other emergency situation, are called to respond as part of a team to help shelter our neighbors. SRIV supports volunteers for the Chariho Team and Westerly CERT teams, also. This is an opportunity that needs volunteers in order to help our communities become more self-sufficient while assisting first responders in times of crisis.
There are so many ways that each of us can help our neighbors, our communities, and our little corner of the world. We’re inviting you to join us in helping to make our region just a little bit better for all of our neighbors. Please call us to get started today at (401) 552-7661.
To learn more about Southern Rhode
Island Volunteers or to register as a volunteer, visit www.southernrivol.org.