Each and every day, thousands of volunteers in Rhode Island selflessly engage in service projects to help strengthen our communities while encouraging others to get involved and make a difference. Between April 15 and 21, Serve Rhode Island, the state’s volunteer center, will recognize the daily contributions of volunteers during National Volunteer Week – branded “Serving Rhode Island Week” here in the Ocean State.
Sponsored by Points of Light Institute, National Volunteer Week was established nearly 40 years ago to honor those who dedicate themselves to taking action and solving problems in our communities. Each year, thousands of volunteer service projects and special events are coordinated to demonstrate the power of volunteerism. On Saturday, April 21, Serve Rhode Island will host the 5th annual Roger Williams Park Clean-Up as the week’s signature event and in observance of Earth Day.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on April 21, teams of volunteers will collect and clear the litter and debris that continually builds up in the Roger Williams Park pond system. In past years, more than 8,000 pounds of trash has been removed in just three hours – including small items such as bottles, cans, and caps that pose as choking hazards to wildlife and large debris such as discarded household goods, furniture and tires. More than 250 individuals and families are expected to participate in this year’s project. On average, more than 155 pounds of new trash accumulates in the Park each week.
As part of its effort to increase volunteerism in our state, Serve Rhode Island has launched a 3-year campaign called the “The Human Kind Experiment” to recruit and engage 17,500 new volunteers. The scope of the campaign will reach all sectors of need in the community and the environment. Whether folks give their time to help feed the hungry, tutor young students, or work with the elderly, their efforts make a profound impact in the lives of many.
Based on data from the Corporation for National & Community Service, 1 in 4 Rhode Islanders over the age of 18 are actively involved in volunteer opportunities. Last year, this amounted to 210,687 local volunteers contributing 25.5 million hours of service valued at $533 million.
The Roger Williams Park Clean-Up project will be held rain or shine. Those participating are asked to wear appropriate clothing; including long pants, long sleeves, sturdy closed-toed shoes, waterproof boots and work gloves.
The 5th Annual Roger Williams Clean-Up day of service is made possible by sponsors Kohl’s Department Store and the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program.
To get involved with the Roger Williams Park Clean-Up effort, or for more information, visit www.ServeRhodeIsland.org or call (401) 331-2298.