A Message From SRIV's Executive Director Debra Tanner
For 36 years, Southern Rhode Island Volunteers (SRIV) has helped hundreds of elderly citizens, adults with disabilities, children and the communities of Washington County and Jamestown, RI. SRIV’s volunteers are the heart of this organization. They share their time, talents, skills and more with neighbors in need.
Today, SRIV launches its new look that features just that - the heart of its volunteers. The launch of SRIV’s new look speaks to the heartfelt compassion that our service agency gives to the communities it serves.
SRIV is proud that this new look will illustrate how far we have come as an organization. SRIV has evolved from a program that focused solely on service and support from seniors to an organization that now engages volunteers 13-years-old and up. SRIV’s volunteers partner with multiple agencies to provide services across all generations residing in Southern Rhode Island.
SRIV’s mission includes continued growth of a county-wide group of dedicated volunteers who assist in making life a bit easier for those facing challenges. SRIV has three core programs including: Volunteer Resources, which includes the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Washington County for volunteers 55 plus years of age, and our Community Volunteers which is a membership of volunteers 13 to 54 years of age. They can be individual volunteers, school group volunteers or community service volunteers. SRIV’s signature program is its Independent Aging Support (IAS) program providing assistance to senior citizens and adults with disabilities. Services of this program include: transportation to healthcare appointments, grocery stores, food pantries or food delivery from food pantry partnerships, like the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, North Kingstown Food Pantry and Meals on Wheels of RI.
Other IAS services include visitation and companionship to alleviate the isolation that often comes with living in this rural area of Rhode Island and on a limited basis, home maintenance such as leaf raking and snow shoveling, may be available. SRIV’s final program is its Disaster Preparedness Program that trains individuals to be members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) for the Southern Rhode Island area. New for 2017, SRIV will be working collaboratively with Westerly’s CERT team and surrounding teams interested in collective training - we’re all in this together!
SRIV’s new look is a symbol of our promise to be a part of the solution to the needs of Southern Rhode Island residents. The heart logo represents the core value of our mission that volunteers have giving heart and serve with heart. The color palette reflects the energy of the communities SRIV serves. Blue is considered by many to be beneficial to the mind and body and red symbolizes joy, life and energy.
Recent communications from individuals receiving assistance from SRIV reflect the gratitude they feel and the need for help. Client J. R. notes, “Thank you for your gracious help. Let us make this coming year the healthiest ever by helping support others that are in need.” J. R. receives transportation support to medical providers from SRIV volunteers.
N. O. notes, “Thank you for working with my mom—you are an angel for helping me with this. Volunteering is a work of heart.”
“In my 16 and a half years at SRIV, I have seen many come and go. Volunteers and recipients of assistance, each individual with challenges and talents as individual as they are. Each individual with compassion, gratitude and caring. I can tell you that they have all touched my heart,” Executive Director Deb Tanner said. “Some I have had to say good-bye to as they have come to the end of their life journey, have moved away, or have had to move on from their time volunteering at SRIV due to health challenges of their own; it’s bittersweet definitely because the relationship with SRIV has to change—change happens, we cannot stop it, but we can endure every change, every challenge with heart and in the end what endures is a lasting impression of caring, love and service. I am the richest person in the world for having the privilege of being some small part of this journey we call SRIV.”
*I have only shared initials of the individuals who wrote to us as we are not allowed to identify them.