Meet JRI's Service Navigator

Our Navigator personally answers questions and talks with you about resources that may be available in the community to meet your individualized needs. If you have any questions about our programs or services, or aren't sure what you need, contact our Service Navigator, Rachel Arruda, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.

Services

Volunteer

JRI offers a variety of one-time and ongoing opportunities for volunteers to work in their community. Our volunteers may read to children in a homeless shelter, mentor teens, provide clerical help, repair and paint our facilities, interpret, facilitate workshops or assist elders.

Because of the 70 diverse programs within JRI over 120 student interns join us each year. Their education interests include social work, psychology, education, counseling, nursing, public relations and administrative assistance. We are a teaching organization and value the opportunity to supervise interns.

Interns, as well as volunteers, are invited and encouraged to take advantage of our extensive staff training. We are all here to learn and grow!

Volunteer Photo
At a Glance
This service is for
Volunteers often find that their greatest satisfaction comes from contributing to the well being of others. Their gifts of time, energy and skills fill a unique role that only they can provide.
Volunteers are a valuable part of the team at JRI. We have a place for you that will meet your schedule and geographic preferences.
All JRI volunteers participate in orientation and on the job training. Other trainings such as CPR/First Aid and de-escalation training are available to assist volunteers in their work
Let's Connect
Heather DePalma, CVA
Director of Volunteer and Intern Services
99 South Main Street Suite 301
Fall River, MA 02721
(508) 821-7777 ext. 451
(508) 828-9017
First Steps

First Steps for Potential Volunteers and Interns

  1. Explore the list of opportunities.
  2. Contact the program to inquire about positions currently available.
  3. If a visit to the program is scheduled, you may download and complete these forms:
Get Involved

At JRI, volunteers are an integral part of the team and we work hard to ensure that your time is spent in a way that best utilizes your talent and meets your expectations. We have many available volunteer opportunities. JRI provides services to a diverse group of clients over a wide geographical location. Whether you are interested in volunteering with children, adolescents, adults or in an office setting, JRI is able to fit your needs.

Volunteers and interns are valued members of our team! Last year over 200 volunteers and interns contributed 13,700 hours of service to the many programs of JRI. Here are some of the ways our volunteers assist:

  • Plan birthday parties for homeless children
  • Read to children or frail elders
  • Assist with activities, homework
  • Provide childcare while parents attend classes
  • Update our Facebook page and assist with other social media projects
  • Assist with activities at Hillside
  • File, copy, collate, and other office assistance
  • Human Resource projects
  • Play!
  • Help a young parent study for his/her GED
  • Assist staff during outings and field trips
  • Listen
  • Mentor teens
  • Repair and paint our facilities
  • Help with research on Grants
  • Lead workshops
Volunteer Opportunities

With 70 programs throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, JRI offers volunteer opportunities in the following counties. To explore these opportunities, please click the links below to view the volunteer position description. You may contact the program directly for further information or to request an interview.

If your company, club, or religious group is interested in donating a day of service, please contact Heather DePalma, Director of Volunteer and Intern Services at 508-821-7777 x451 or hdepalma@jri.org.

Barnstable County

Berkshire County

Bristol County

Middlesex County

Plymouth County

Connecticut

Suffolk County

Internship Opportunities

With 70 programs throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, JRI offers internship opportunities in the following counties. To explore the many opportunities we provide for students, please click the links below to view the intern position description. You may contact the program directly for further information or to request an interview. In e-mail correspondence, please use subject of "Internship".

To view these opportunities, please click the link below.

Barnstable County

Bristol County

Middlesex County

Plymouth County

Connecticut

  • Susan Wayne Center
Boy reading by water
It’s all about the children, the books and the joy of reading. I don’t think there is another more suitable volunteer opportunity for me than this.
Tricia
Volunteer FOCUS/Family Resource Center
Volunteer Spotlights

Diane sitting at computer

Diane Ennis, Quality Improvement Volunteer

Diane Ennis has been a volunteer with our Agency since 2010. She has been instrumental in the accomplishment of many major initiatives, from COA, to Policy and Procedure manuals, Performance and Quality Management, and Risk Prevention and Management. Each of these initiatives involved great attention to detail, patience, organization and dedication. In addition, Diane brings the value added benefit of sharing her many gifts and community involvements, including her Bell Choir who performed in our conference room during the City of Taunton holiday celebrations.

This year, a new initiative was underway, and this one was a large undertaking. Diane became involved in the reorganization of thousands of records. Diane and a team of volunteers were responsible to get them reorganized, labeled, indexed, re-boxed and ready for appropriate storage. Diane’s leadership in this initiative led her to create a system, train others in the system, and ensure the correct implementation of this system, which will allow these very important records to be retrievable throughout their legally required storage.

When this enormous task was not moving quickly enough for Diane, she added days to her volunteering; from one day, to two days, to sometimes three days per week, so that she could ensure progress was being made. She trained three additional volunteers, ensuring the standardization of this very important process. Two decades of records, neatly organized, boxed floor to ceiling, await the final touches.

Diane’s volunteering not only accomplished tasks—it created a community of volunteers who work as a team to accomplish tasks. Further, it created incredible piece of mind to know such a significant accomplishment was being done with quality and care. Thank you Diane for all your hard work!!

 

Jim standing near some artwork

Jim Keiper, Total Achievement Program Volunteer

The TAP team has had the pleasure of working alongside Jim since 2007 at the TAP program in Norton. Jim truly embodies the spirit of volunteerism by giving his time, energy, and expertise every afternoon he spends with us. He has impacted the program positively by bringing to light improvements we could implement. The children know that “Mr. Jim” would readily help them with their homework or play a game with them during free time. He’s the staff member the children prefer to play football or soccer with! He always has a kind word to say even to the most troubled children in our group and asks each of them for a smile and a high five every day. This small gesture to extend his hand and ask for a high five and a smile is probably the first positive thing being asked of the children each day and it has proven to be a great way for them to feel good and connect with another person in a simple, non-threatening way.

It is clear how much he enjoys the children and how important they are to him; and his willingness to go above and beyond to learn is apparent. He attends team meetings, trainings, asks questions and puts a great deal of thought into his work here. Some volunteers might come and just do their hours and leave, but you can see that Jim makes this a part of his life. Our team would not be complete without “Mr. Jim”.

 

Linda receiving certificate from President Andy Pond

Linda Wade, Hillside Adult Day Health Center Volunteer

Linda has been volunteering at our Hillside Adult Day Health Center since September 2012. Her standard volunteer time is 6 hours straight on a Wednesday, but over the course of the past year she’s either switched days or added a few extra hours to that standard, when needed.

Linda’s time primarily is involved with 25-30 people in our large assembly morning exercise and afternoon recreational activities. She records scores and assists with the collection and distribution of equipment. Her shift includes one of the busiest, demanding times of the day when many clients are only focused on their important part of the day, lunch. Linda doesn’t hesitate to clear tables and do general clean-up following lunch. She routinely prepares for the following meal in late afternoon and then will work one-on-one with those clientele becoming increasingly anxious about their transportation home and seeking exits.

From the start Linda has noted our great need for Bingo prizes, and she supplies us at least monthly with her purchased or recycled prizes. She periodically brings in donations, such as greeting cards, notepads or calendars. But perhaps the most popular ones are those she has created: knit winter hats and scarves. Being a life-long, very talented crotchetier and knitter, Linda asked how she could use some of the remnants of yarn she has accumulated over the years. With some creative effort she was able to create about 5 dozen red poppies on a green stem to attach to everyone’s nametags in celebration of Memorial Day, Patriotic summertime holidays, and Veterans’ Day. For the fall she did orange pumpkins complete with green stem and leaf to announce October. And to make our holidays extra special, she purchased big, beautifully decorated cupcakes for a celebratory snack.

After accidentally overhearing one client’s need for a set of back-up clothes, Linda supplied a brand new set the following week. She has also helped her immediate-family members clean out their closets, and our clients have then become the owners of gently used items, with the price tags still attached on some.

Her caring nature adds immeasurably to the quality of care we can provide our clients. In an industry where caring is so essential for success, Linda is the epitome of making our clients feel loved, wanted, and special no matter what they do or don’t do---all factors in ensuring a successful Hillside program.

 

Danny Brundage, Teen Parenting Program Volunteer

Danny has been volunteering at our teen parenting program since 2012. He is attending college and working, yet makes time to volunteer with the children at our program. Danny is punctual and dependable and the children really enjoy his company. Our children range in age from newborn to three. Danny is equally comfortable holding a newborn, playing with play dough or lining up cars on the floor with an older child. It is not often that a young male is willing to give his time to care for children and this is so very commendable. Many of our children do not have positive male role models in their lives at all. Our staff members are all female; therefore there is little opportunity to expose the babies and children to male nurturing in any form. Danny has provided this for us. Our teen mothers are quite comfortable handing their children over to Danny, and this in and of itself is a testament to the trust he has earned at our program. Danny will make a wonderful teacher or social worker. He is a role model for young gentleman going into these fields, as well as for other interns and volunteers. He is gentle and kind and we are very fortunate and grateful to have him at TLP.

 

Nancy holding children's toy

Nancy Chisholm, Teen Parenting Program Volunteer

Nancy has been volunteering at our teen parenting program since 2012 and has become a core member of our team. She is vital to helping us run our educational and therapeutic groups for the teen moms whom we service.

In order for our moms to attend groups three times a week, we rely heavily on our volunteers who come out to our program multiple times a week to help babysit and play with the babies and young children. Nancy takes the time out of her day to come help us out during each and every time slot. She is a constant dependable person who our babies and young mothers have come to count on. Seeing a familiar face helps to ease our mothers as they leave their children to attend group sessions. Nancy always comes in with a smile on her face and is immediately ready to pick up a baby who needs comforting to or to play a game with an older child. Nancy has been there alongside staff watching our babies grow, develop and meet their milestones. She has assisted the babies in learning to sit up, crawl, walk, and develop their own unique personalities while they discover the world around them. Nancy is gentle and patient and her calm demeanor helps to relax those around her. Last year we had a baby with serious digestive issues which caused him to spit up a good portion of his bottle after each and every feeding. Nancy came in with a spare towel in one hand and large amounts of love and empathy for him in the other. During November 2013, our teen moms had the opportunity to go to an off-site 6-week parenting group run by Project Connect in Attleboro. The hours were later and were also a bit longer than our normal timeslot; Nancy came with us off-site to help out, never once complaining or missing a night. Her dedication is admirable and she is priceless to us. We hope to have Nancy with us for many more years and so much want to let her know how much she means to our program.

Request More Information

For assistance determining which programs or services will meet your individualized need, please fill out the form below. If you have a question regarding a particular program, please contact the Program Director listed in the “Let’s Connect” box above.

@JRISocialJstce