Community Connections

The 13th Annual Community Connections program will take place in August 2017.

The Community Connections program began in 2005 to provide a common service experience that actualized commitment to service, a core value of the University and met the real needs of organizations and individuals in the local community, all while continuing the orientation process for new students. 

Our entering class volunteers at non-profit agencies throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, led by student or faculty/staff site leaders.

Here are a few sound bytes from our community partners who have participated in Community Connections:

WARM Center – Westerly, RI

“The planned date coincided perfectly with a mailing that needed to be done for our organization. They completed the job with minimal supervision and freed up a lot of time for staff to focus on other duties. Thank you so much!”

John Hope Settlement House – Providence, RI

“They were eager to learn the history about our organization and they did an amazing job!”

The Nature Conservancy/Francis Carter Preserve – Charlestown, RI

“As always, they were great kids -- smart, easy to work with, and eager to help out. Terrific representatives of the school. We would be happy to have them back with The Nature Conservancy next year.”

Tree Council - Ninigret Park – Newport, RI

“The students and site leaders were an excellent representation of Roger Williams. We can not thank you enough for all their hard work! Hope to see you next year.”

Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council – Providence, RI

“The group was really helpful and we look forward to working with RWU again!”

Franklin Court Assisted Living – Bristol, RI

“Everything went smoothly. We host a car wash for the tenants at Franklin Court Independent Living, weather permitting! This year the Mother Nature was on our side! We had a meet & greet with the tenants, car wash, the tenants made delicious macaroni and meatballs for lunch, then bingo! It was awesome!”

Franklin Court Assisted Living – Bristol, RI

“It was great to see the students spending quality time with our residents and brightening their day!”

Adam’s House – Fall River, MA

“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in the program.” “Your group was polite, seemed to be engaged in the program, and we were grateful for the visit. The staff members were also impressed with Adams House! Thank you!”

Save the Bay – Bristol, RI

“The site leaders are vital to keeping the students motivated, safe, and on-task. We couldn’t have conducted the clean-up without them! The students were troopers. They gave it their all and performed a valuable service!”

Mosaico – Bristol, RI

“Thank you once again; for all your hard work – we really do appreciate it! Best of luck @ RWU in coming years!”

Tiverton Library – Tiverton, RI

“Very nice group of kids – very polite and respectful – worked hard on a hot day!”

My Brother’s Keeper – New Bedford, MA

“This was the first year that My Brother's Keeper hosted Roger Williams University students as part of Community Connections. Our staff had a wonderful day of service with these students and the site leaders and were able to provide a household full of furniture to several local families thanks to this groups hard work! The only challenge we faced during the day was in finding opportunities to discuss the deliveries with these students -- if possible, next year we would like to explore having the students ride with our staff to and from the deliveries. Either way, we look forward to partnering with RWU again in the future! Thanks for all of your hard work in pulling this incredible event together.”

For Site Leaders

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Community Connections 2017 will be taking place on Monday, August 28, 2017.

Please be the the lookout for the site leader application on April 1st, 2017

For Incoming Students

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Community Connections 2017 will take place on August 28, 2017

You will register for the program online when you register for summer orientation. That's why we ask you questions about the types of issues you are interested in and the skills you have. We do our best to match you with a site that uses those skills to benefit the community.

Here are some of the organizations students volunteered in the past few years:

  • Adams House                                                                                                      
  • Audubon Society of Rhode Island                                                                  
  • Battleship Cove                                   
  • Bayside YMCA                                                                                 
  • Bristol Parks and Rec
  • Child & Family
  • Coggeshall Farm Museum
  • First United Methodist Church of Warren & Bristol
  • Franklin Court Assisted Living
  • Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation
  • Greenlock Therapeutic Riding Center
  • HeadsUp, Inc.
  • James L Maher Center
  • John Hope Settlement House
  • My Brother's Keeper
  • Nathanael Greene Homestead
  • Newport Arboretum
  • Norman Bird Sanctuary
  • PACE Organization of RI
  • Recycle-A-Bike
  • Roger Williams Park
  • Saint Elizabeth Community
  • Save The Bay
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Tiverton Library Services
  • Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council
  • Youth Pride Inc.  
  • YWCA Rhode Island

If you have any questions about the Community Connections program, please contact service@rwu.edu.

For Community Partners

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The Community Connections program invites you to consider what you could accomplish with the energy, enthusiasm (and yes, free labor!) of RWU volunteers: 

  • Past work has included landscaping, trail maintenance, painting, social programming for senior citizens, inventory, and small construction/maintenance projects. 
  • Organizations are asked to pick a project that can reasonably be completed in one day and would engage 25-100 volunteers (if you think you can use more than 100, we can do that, too!)
  • RWU provides transportation, lunches, work gloves, and other supplies.  Depending on the project, the site may be asked to provide additional supplies such as paint,  mulch, and heavy tools.
  • We ask that a site contact/supervisor from your organization be available on site on August 28th to supervise and to give our students an orientation about your organization.
  • All participating organizations are asked to attend program orientation at RWU on Tuesday, August 15th at 3pm. Light refreshments will be served!

Do you think our volunteers could be helpful to your organization?  If so, and you are interested in registering for the program, please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FCC17CommPartner.  If you would like to discuss the program further before making a decision, I encourage you to contact me at kferrara@rwu.eduor by calling 401-254-3765.  Our program coordinators are also available to visit your organization to help you conceptualize the format of your project. 

For Sponsors

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Thank you to all of our Community Connections Corporate and Business Sponsors!

From transportation and equipment to food and water, Community Connections incurs expenses in bringing RWU students to serve nearly 100 sites. Joining the University in providing support for the event, the Corporate and Business Sponsors of Community Connections are vital local partners in serving their community.

If you are interested in providing support, please contact Christine Parker at (401 )254-3205 or cparker@rwu.edu.

RWU Thanks:
2011 Community Connections Corporate and Business Sponsors

In 2011, the local businesses listed below participated by generously providing financial or in-kind resources for the annual service event.

*Sponsors with an asterisk have provided multi-year support.

Leadership Level

  • Foundry Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
  • Mello’s Fruitland Inc.*
  • Rhody Fresh*
  • Centreville Bank*
  • Gil’s Television & Appliances*
  • People’s Credit Union*
  • Sansone Funeral Home*
  • Spring Break Tanning*
  • Reliable Pest Control*

Supporter Level

  • Quitos Fish Market*
  • East Bay Kennels Ltd*
  • Ocean State Janitorial Service*
  • Bristol Sunset Cafe
  • Parking Associates LLC Civic Center*