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Volunteer!

Rhode Islanders voluntarily do an amazing amount of work to take care of our place. Volunteering is an important part of the state's economy. Given that Rhode Island's economy has been famously in the doldrums, let's get out there and pitch in. Turn the place around! All hands on deck!

How to be a great volunteer

  • Choose volunteer work that you love and enjoy
  • Be willing to do what is needed at times the help is needed
  • Go to orientation sessions and do what is requested
  • Be consistent, on time, and focused on others

Where to find places to volunteer

Serve RI is a centralized resource used by many nonprofits in Rhode Island. Especially see the Serve RI Volunteer signup page and register there to be alerted of new requests for help. Notices of volunteer opportunities go out to the mailing lists of dozens of environmental groups, so you could subscribe directly to your favorite group's eNews.

Providential Gardener collects and highlights some volunteer opportunities and activities on this page. A few of these are in the calendar (when Rhode Islanders add them to the calendar).

If you know of resources that should be on this page, send information to skorte@providentialgardener.com. I can't build this whole site fast enough, and there is so much that could be in here! But I am open to suggestions and welcome your contributions.

RI Volunteer Opportunities

This list is a mix of Adult Education and Environment-related volunteer opportunities. See the Adult Education page to find out why there's this unusual combination.

Volunteer Info Categories
Aquidneck Island Adult Learning Center

Volunteers are referred to Literacy Volunteers of the East Bay.

Adult Education
Audubon Society of RI - HQ

Volunteer Opportunities

Critters, Conservation, Ecology, Habitat, Education
Blackstone River Watershed Council

This group has occasional cleanups and is attacking the invasive knotweed along the river.

Conservation, Water, Invasives, Natural Resources, Pollution, Waste
Brown University Herbarium

People who are interested in plant diversity and herbarium work and would like to be involved with volunteer projects at the herbarium are invited to inquire.

Conservation, Ecology, Habitat, History ~ Natural History, Plants
Burrillville Green Team

Team Up to Clean Up!
If you would like to join the Green Team and are looking for an area to clean up please send email to Andrea Hall or call 568-4440 x12.

Conservation, Land, Waste
Clean Bays

Become a Volunteer

Clean Bays depends on its loyal and ambitious team of volunteers to help with debris removal. If you would like to join our team, please sign up here, and you will be contacted with a list of dates when help is needed. We need help in the field, but we can always use help in the office too! Let us know if you are interested in coordinating fundraisers, or helping with other events or activities.

Click here to volunteer online.

Pollution, Waste, Water
Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP)

Volunteer Needs: Computer Instructor Intern. See this page and fill out the 2016 volunteer application.

Education, Social Justice
Crossroads Rhode Island

Volunteer Needs: We use volunteers in many ways.  Our Learning Center has volunteers that help with tutoring.  We also have a computer lab and classes and an Employment Resource Center where students/clients can have access to technology and assistance in preparing a resume, writing a cover letter, searching for jobs, etc. Also see this page.

Adult Education
Dorcas International Institute North Campus

Volunteers Needed: Tutors, conversation class facilitator, classroom assistants, citizenship tutors, refugee mentors

Adult Education
Dorcas International Institute South Campus

Volunteers Needed: Tutors, conversation class facilitator, classroom assistants, citizenship tutors, refugee mentors

Adult Education
East Bay Skills Alliance - Lower Bay Region (Eastbay CAP)

Volunteers Needed: Call or email for info

Adult Education
Education Exchange

Volunteers needed: Teaching assistants, one-on-one tutors, active committee and board members

Adult Education
English for Action

Volunteers Needed: Assistant ESL facilitators, youth mentors, soccer tournament volunteers. Volunteers in the Adult ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program work as Assistant ESOL Facilitators, and learn to lesson plan and facilitate adult English classes (mornings and evenings). Also need youth mentors, soccer tournament volunteers.

Food4Good

Things Needed

Food, Social Justice
Franklin Farm

Each spring, The RI Food Bank's community farms begin accepting volunteers to help prepare the land, plant and harvest. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. It’s a great activity for families, schools, businesses and civic groups!

To volunteer, contact the coordinator.

Genesis Center

Volunteers Needed: Workforce Training/Mock Interview Day, conversation tutor, citizenship tutor, student support center tutors, ESL tutors, computer lab volunteer, financial literacy volunteer, garden volunteer

Education, Social Justice
God's Little Acre

Each spring, the RI Community Food Bank farms begin accepting volunteers to help prepare the land, plant and harvest. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. It’s a great activity for families, schools, businesses and civic groups! To volunteer, contact the coordinator.

Farming, Food
Literacy Volunteers of East Bay (LVEB)

Volunteers Needed: Literacy tutors

Education
Literacy Volunteers of Kent County

Our 18-hour tutor training workshop teaches the skills needed to effectively work one-to-one with an adult student. Once the workshop is underway, volunteers are matched with a student and they meet in a public location on their own schedule for 2 hours a week. Prospective tutors must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. Lessons are typically conducted in libraries, churches, or community centers.

Adult Education
Literacy Volunteers of Washington County - Westerly

Volunteers Needed: Tutors, office help, fundraiser organizers, committee members

Adult Education
Magaziner Farm

Each spring, The RI Food Bank's community farms begin accepting volunteers to help prepare the land, plant and harvest. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. It’s a great activity for families, schools, businesses and civic groups!

To volunteer, contact the coordinator.

Farming, Food
McCoy Community Farm

Each spring, The RI Food Bank's community farms begin accepting volunteers to help prepare the land, plant and harvest. No experience is necessary and all ages are welcome. It’s a great activity for families, schools, businesses and civic groups!

To volunteer, contact the coordinator.

Farming, Food, Social Justice
Mount Hope Learning Center

The Mt. Hope Learning Center is currently looking for volunteers to teach various classes for adults. If you are interested in volunteering to teach or tutor a small group in computer literacy, ESL, or GED, please send an email to: ewinangun@mthopelc.org

Adult Education, Education
MyCoast RI

RI Coastal Resources Management Council needs your help to capture photographs of King Tide events and storm flooding sites. RICRMC will evaluate your photographs and include them in its long-term analysis of coastal vulnerability and planning initiatives with municipalities. RICRMC may also use your photographs in presentations, publications, and on its website.

Climate, Public Works & Infrastructure, Resilience, Water, Weather
Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy established a volunteer group called the Friends of the Preserves.  We hope that volunteers assist with ongoing stewardship projects including trail maintenance, litter cleanups and removal of invasive plants. Please contact Tim Mooney at tmooney@tnc.org or (401) 529-1072. We  thank our current volunteers for their efforts!

Conservation, Land, Recreation & Exploration
Neighborhood Alliance of Pawtucket

NAP organizes cleanups for Earth Day in Pawtucket. They also participate in the Buy Nothing Day Coat Drive.

Land, Waste
New England Plant Conservation Program (NEPCoP)

Volunteers needed: The organization is heavily dependent on Plant Conservation Volunteers (PVCs) for monitoring local populations of rare and endangered plants. Expertise is not required, just a will to help and learn new things.

Newport Even Start

Volunteers Needed: Call or email for info.

Adult Education
Oyster Gardening for Restoration and Enhancement

Become an OGRE

Conservation, Critters, Ecology, Habitat, Food, Pollution, Water
Project Learn

ADULT EDUCATION: "Without the help of our volunteers, we would not be able to help the hundreds of people in our community learn to communicate more effectively. Project Learn serves adults locally and can certainly use the help in our computer lab, our one on one learning tutors and many other administrative areas if you like. Learn more about how you can help adult readers in your community. Learn more about how you can make a difference in the local community through sharing your knowledge. Connect through the form on the Adult Education Volunteer Page.

Also see the Donate page for giving newer computers and books (but call first).

Adult Education, Education
Project Learn (Community Care Alliance)

Adult Ed: Volunteer tutors are needed.

Adult Education, Education, Social Justice
Providence Parent Academy

Are you interested in offering a course through the Providence Parent Academy? If so, please contact them.

Education, Social Justice
RI College Outreach Program

Contact us at (401) 456-8902 or Email Dawne Pezzuco for more information. More info...

Adult Education, Work
RI Natural History Survey

Annual BioBlitz orientation for volunteer participants is in early May each year. RI BioBlitz is an early June 24-hour period on a Friday and Saturday.

Conservation, Critters, Ecology, Habitat, Education, Recreation & Exploration, History ~ Natural History, Invasives, Plants
Salt Ponds Coalition

Become a Salt Pond Steward

Save the Bay

See the Volunteer Page for details of current needs.

Conservation, Education, Pollution, Water
Smithfield Stewards

Work on trail blazing and maintenance of Smithfield Land Trust preserves.

Conservation, Land
South County Museum

"We seek volunteers interested in helping us interpret, preserve, and present local history and assisting in various capacities.... We are looking for year-round, seasonal and special event volunteers." - from the website, July 6, 2018

URI Watershed Watch

Volunteer environmental monitoring can be a great family activity, a good excuse to get out on the water, or simply a good way to learn about pollution of water, and how to protect your favorite waterbody. Our volunteers come from diverse educational backgrounds and experiences, with some holding advanced degrees in science, and others still in high school. No previous education or training is required order to participate, simply a way to get to your monitoring site, and a desire to help out, and get a little wet. URI Watershed Watch provides all the training (classroom and field), equipment and laboratory analyses. Read more...

Conservation, Health & Safety, Water
We Share Hope

This organization is a food rescuer, whose mission is to locate, gather, and distribute food to groups that feed the poor, distressed, and the underprivileged. Volunteers are needed for all kinds of work, from driving trucks to helping out in the office.

Economy, Food, Social Justice, Waste
Westbay Community Action

Westbay Literacy/GED
Under the guidance of the GED instructors, volunteers will work with adult students one-on-one in a classroom setting at the Buttonwoods Community Center. Volunteers work with the students on building skills in math, writing and reading in order to work towards passing the GED tests.

To volunteer for this department, call or email Dona Smith, Volunteer Coordinator at 401-732-4666 x152 or dsmith@westbaycap.org

Adult Education
Westbay Farm

Volunteers needed to help grow food.

Farming, Food, Social Justice
What Cheer Flower Farm

Donations and volunteers needed!

Become a friend of the What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence!

  • In-kind donations
  • Plant, water, weed and harvest
  • Drive flowers to nonprofits
  • Assist with fundraising