Sunday, January 15, 2006

RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program)

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a federally financed community volunteer program utilizing the services and talents of senior citizens in a variety of programs determined by local need. It is based on a pilot program begun in 1967 in Staten Island, New York. In 1971, the federal government launched the RSVP program nationally under the auspices of ACTION, the federal voluntary agency that includes Senior Companion, the Foster Grandparent program, the National Center for Service Learning, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), and the Peace Corps. It began with 11 projects and a budget of $500,000. By 1981, the budget was in excess of 26 million dollars with more than 26,000 volunteers in 707 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam. Thousands of agencies and community organizations engage the services of RSVP in meeting their goals of delivering assistance to those in need. Many roles are available for the older citizen depending on physical capacity, experience, and need.
Volunteers are engaged in providing companionship to the lonely, child care, tutoring, crime prevention, home energy repairs, transportation, and many other services. With significant increases in life expectancy and greater emphasis on preventive health care, the older population will continue to be a dynamic, productive force in the future. For more information write or call:
806 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20525
(202) 289-1510


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