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Giving Back to Our Elders

Sometimes a friendly face can make a big difference in our South County seniors' lives

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Jamestown Senior Center and Meal Site offers year round health and learning programs, day trips, lunch and classes like art, Tai Chi and warm water therapeutics to residents aged 50 and above. Support the center by volunteering your time at the center, providing transportation or becoming a friend of Jamestown seniors. There are also opportunities for youth to help with their annual Senior Summer Picnic. 6 West Street, Jamestown. 423-2658.

Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to senior neighbors via volunteer drivers who deliver lunches. Regular and substitute drivers are always needed. Volunteers serve roughly between 5-9 clients on each route, which takes about one hour to complete. 25 St. Dominic Road, Wakefield. 789-2362.

At the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Washington County, seniors help seniors. The program is open to anyone over 55 who has a driver’s license, passes a background check and wants to give their time to create a substantive impact in the community. The program has nearly 3,000 participants in Rhode Island alone. 100 Park Lane, Charlestown. 552-7661.

Saint Elizabeth Home
offers a spectrum of 24-hour elder care, including nursing, rehab, therapy services and memory care, as well as providing adult day centers and a safe haven for elder abuse victims. Volunteers are welcome to visit with the elderly (by reading to them, helping them with their email or just talking with them), to bake for fundraisers, answer phones and more. One Saint Elizabeth Way, East Greenwich. 471-6060. 

If you’re looking to get involved but not sure where to start, go with Southern Rhode Island Volunteers. The group collaborates with community organizations to provide volunteers to local nonprofits, and also to help people one-on-one. 100 Park Lane, Charlestown. 552-7661.

Meet the Volunteer
Eugenia Spencer, Saint Elizabeth Home

A native Rhode Islander and long-time volunteer at the Saint Elizabeth Home, Eugenia Spencer often travels from her Green Hill area home to East Greenwich to work with the elderly. A former social worker, she first got involved after her mother became a resident and her husband, a retired rector, started to do the Sunday mass there. She saw first hand the good work they do, saying, “St. Elizabeth fosters a very welcoming and caring environment and I thought I could contribute to that.” Spencer began by helping with cooking projects. She says, “The residents who participated in cooking projects [were] remembering skills from their past. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. That certainly is heartwarming.” She’s now involved with SEH’s Friends group, helping to raise funds for special projects.