Southern Rhode Island Volunteers’ mission is to enhance lives by inspiring, creating and supporting a lifelong culture of service through our volunteer members and affiliates across Southern Rhode Island.
Southern Rhode Island Volunteers shall provide a supportive foundation for volunteerism and service by providing (1) volunteers throughout the southern geographic 1/3 of the State of Rhode Island; (2) quality, meaningful and appropriate service opportunities to the citizens of this area; and (3) helpful health care access, nutrition support and alleviation of isolation services to frail elderly individuals and other adults in need of independent aging support, to meet the goal of aging-in-place. SRIV believes in supporting a healthy, active life for all adults, especially older adults.
While creating a lifelong culture of volunteerism & service, Southern Rhode Island Volunteers will make a difference one volunteer at a time, ultimately creating a countywide corps of volunteers.
Our Community Volunteers
We currently have community volunteers working with food pantries, academics, farmers markets, county events, assisting seniors and more.
SRIV was incorporated in October 1981 after about a year in service, in response to Washington County's lack of an organization that could engage residents over 60 who were willing to volunteer. While there were six federally funded Rhode Island Retired Senior Volunteer Programs in RI, all were located in the northern communities of the state.
Annually, approximately 600 Southern Rhode Island volunteers are active in community service opportunities. Many of these volunteers offer their experience and assistance through multiple service opportunities.
Today, the SRIV volunteer team provides over 80,000 service hours annually. The value of their time, talent and energy is $1.8 million annually, according to the Federal Government. This is a huge gift to our neighbors in need, our communities and to the taxpayers in the region.
From its start-up and ever since, SRIV's modest budget has been supplemented by in-kind support from other sources. The ACTION group funded a volunteer from the VISTA program within the first few years. The University of Rhode Island Clearinghouse for Volunteers provided technical assistance and postage from 1981 to 1986. The Kingston Congregational Church continued to provide office space, electricity and heating until 1993. In December 1991, the Town of Westerly offered SRIV in-kind meeting space in the Westerly Senior Center. Since the fall of 1999, in-kind meeting space has been provided at all of the area's senior centers. In October 2000, SRIV's main senior operation moved into The Center in South Kingstown. In December 2011, SRIV opened a second office at the Charlestown Community Center thanks to Senator Reed's assistance, support and collaboration with Charlestown's leadership. As of 2015, SRIV's main office is the Charlestown location, and a satellite office is maintained in at The Center in South Kingstown. Our other partners continue to support and provide space as needed.
SRIV was able to hire its first Director in 1983 with the help of an operating grant from The Rhode Island Foundation. SRIV then began receiving support from the state legislature in 1984, The Division of Elderly Affairs, and for its senior services and RSVP programming. SRIV applies for grants on a regular basis from local and national donors. Since 1999, SRIV has received support from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), local municipalities, foundations/grant funders, business donors and generous individual donors.