Fun, Interactive Volunteer Opportunities with CRi

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If you are interested in the following DIY volunteer opportunity, please reach out to RSVP Volunteer Specialist, Shannon White, at

CRi, Choice. Respect. independence. (formerly known as Community Residences, Inc.), is a community-based organization with a focused effort on providing people with developmental disabilities and/or mental health needs the resources, supports and services they need to live their lives with purpose, actively engaged in communities of their choosing.  CRi’s mission fully supports a person’s ability to exercise control of their life’s choices, and to live in and contribute to communities of their choosing, as young adults through aging in place. We believe in serving individuals within the communities in which they live & support the individual’s choices and independence.

With COVID changing the way we all interact with the world, we’ve had to adjust our routines, implement coping mechanisms, and find new strategies to connect with our loved ones. CRi residents have had to do the same, but many don’t understand why. They can no longer go to their day-programs, see friends from other homes, or venture into the community for a fun outing. Staff have been working with residents to find ways to keep them learning and growing through games and projects that can be done at home – recreation therapy. The goal of recreation therapy is to motivate individuals to practice their fine motor skills and hone their cognitive function through tactile, visual, and auditory stimulation.

  1. Recreation Therapy Assistants
    • Activity: In person outdoors – group of 2+
    • COVID Restrictions: Masks required
    • Duration: 30 minutes – 1 hour. Flexible!
    • Skills: Having fun!
    • Project Description:

CRi’s Recreation Therapy team puts together a calendar of activities that with different focus areas such as gross or fine motor skills, multisensory, or stress management. The activities seem like games, but really they are designed to help individuals practice control of their bodies and exercise their brains when it comes to everyday activities like doing laundry or emptying the dishwasher. A few examples of the projects are one minute movement exercise, tossing bean bags into buckets, or blowing bubbles.

Volunteers would be an extra pair of hands to walk individuals through the projects – like a teacher’s assistant to staff. They would be able to provide residents with more one-on-one attention and offer an extra level of fun and companionship as they go through the project.

  •  Patio Plays
    • Activity: In person outdoors – group of 2+
    • COVID Restrictions: Masks not necessary if all volunteers are in the same pod! Otherwise, please wear a mask and observe social distancing.
    • Duration: 20 minutes – 1 hour. Flexible!
    • Skills: Love for the spotlight! Any and all thespians!
    • Supplies: Props, costumes, lights!?, music!?
    • Project Description:

If you are a thespian looking for an outlet to stretch your acting skills and a place to practice complete with audience, then this is the project for you!

While COVID still restricts interaction, we have some group homes that have large sliding glass doors that open up to spacious patios where you and your troop/cast can host a 20-30 minute play, improv, musical, or choreographed dance for residents and staff! To follow CDC guidelines, the doors will be closed, but the audience will be able to see and interact with the actors through the glass – like an in-person YouTube Video. Staff and residents would love to watch anything you perform, but we’re looking for Action! Drama! Emotion! Lights! Music! Costume Changes! You do have to emote through a glass door after all. Patio Plays should be in 10-15 minute segments. No memorization necessary. You can read directly off a script! Come share your skills!

  • Window Wave
    • In person – outdoors
    • COVID Restrictions: Masks not necessary if all volunteers are in the same pod! Otherwise, please wear a mask and observe social distancing.
    • Duration: 15 minutes – 1 hour. Flexible!
    • Skills: Waving and smiling
    • Supplies: Yourself!
    • Project Description:

While COVID still restricts interaction, a 15-30 minute visit from a friendly face could make all the difference. We call it a “Window Wave”, where volunteers can visit residents in person and offer a warm smile through a window – an in-person Zoom. Volunteers can draw signs to communicate with residents, play games like tic tac toe on the glass with washable markers, read a picture book, put on a stick figure play, make funny faces, host a dance party, or anything that comes to mind!

CRi has group homes throughout Northern Virginia that would love some love.

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