02/16/17 Family Service of RI and Brown Kick Off 125th Anniversary Year               


Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) kicked off a ‘year of celebration’ to mark the agency’s 125th anniversary at a reception hosted February 15, 2017 by Christina Paxson, President of Brown University. FSRI is a non-profit organization that connects Rhode Island families in need to resources, programs and support specifically designed to navigate tough times and promote self-sufficiency and independence.

“Geographically, we are neighbors.  Historically, we have been linked by common goals.  And ethically, we are partners in a shared role of serving our community.  Indeed, generations of Brown students, faculty and staff have joined together with FSRI in serving the neediest among us,” said President Paxson. “Institutions like Brown and FSRI are at their best when they partner and bring people, ideas and knowledge together to innovate and solve problems. We look forward to the next 125 years of partnership.”

“We are proud and excited to celebrate this milestone and the work we do. Tonight marks 125 years of Family Service helping people create healthy families and stronger communities throughout Rhode Island,” said Margaret Holland McDuff, CEO of FSRI. “Last year, through 39 different programs, with 20 different partner organizations, in 8 different languages, FSRI provided assistance to over 8,000 people. And this year, we plan to do even more.”

The reception was held at The President’s House on Power Street in Providence and was attended by about 60 people.

“We will gather together many times this year as we highlight the work we do. We will convene educational forums on trauma and best practices for serving victims of crimes, we’ll share groundbreaking new HIV/AIDS research, and you can look for small but important signs of our 125 Acts of Kindness Campaign in every city and town in the state. But tonight, it’s fitting that we gather here, on the Brown University campus, because this is where FSRI started,” said John Simmons, President of the FSRI Board of Directors.

FSRI and Brown University have a long and shared history. The non-profit was founded in 1892 and was originally named The Providence Society for Organizing Charity. Its first President was also the eighth President of Brown University, Elisha Benjamin Andrews.

At the reception, Margaret Holland McDuff also announced that FSRI plans to honor President Paxson and Brown University by presenting them with the agency’s annual Brighter Futures Award later in the year.

Photos courtesy of Brown University.

Brown President Christina Paxon, left, and Family Service of Rhode Island's Margaret Holland McDuff


John Simmons, president of Family Service of Rhode Island's Board of Directors, addressing the gathering.

Brown President Christina Paxon speaks while Family Service of Rhode board president John Simmons and agency CEO Margaret Holland McDuff look on.