Paying it Forward: Kerry Strickland


It Takes a Village

Kerry’s inspiration for volunteering began when she managed a local nonprofit organization.  The organization used SRIV to find volunteers for hands-on support.  She viewed those volunteers as role models and set volunteering as one of her retirement goals.

After retiring, she feared a decline in abilities so she ultimately chose to begin volunteering with Southern Rhode Island Volunteers.

Kerry has been a volunteer with SRIV since 2014 and has put several hours into driving local seniors to their medical appointments.  This is currently a critical need in our community and Kerry recognizes this, being one of the reasons she dedicates her time to local seniors.

As a senior herself, Kerry understands the realities that many people face as they age.

“Most of the people I drive have no other way to get to their necessary care.   Some are isolated, especially in the Western areas of South County.  Some are very lonely and longing for social contact”. 

Kerry referenced the old saying “It takes a village”, because it’s true.  SRIV wouldn't be able to provide all of our services without the help from the community and our dedicated volunteers.  Kerry says “It feels really good to be a part of the village”.

Paying it Forward

Kerry views this volunteer position as “paying it forward” because “we will all probably need this service eventually”. 

Kerry chooses to volunteer because “it feels good to be helping others, feeling useful, and you meet a lot of very nice people along the way”.

She often finds inspiration in the clients that she drives.  Kerry describes them as being "powers of example" when they are still vital in their 80's & 90's.  Last year she drove a 91 year old woman who was nearing the end of the estimated time she had due to battling a terminal cancer diagnosis.  She told Kerry her wish was to make it to her 92nd birthday, and as she was getting out of the car Kerry wished her luck.  Kerry says the woman "looked up at the sunshine, gave a beautiful smile and said, "Today is a beautiful day!". 

 If you are thinking about volunteering, Kerry encourages you to try it!  She gave herself six months to think about which area she wanted to help in and chose to drive seniors because “when I have to stop driving, it will be a freedom that I miss dearly." 

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