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Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (Senior Corps)

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RSVP stands for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (Senior Corps). This organization is a U.S. government sponsored agency created with a mission to provide aid to senior citizens in communities throughout the country. There are approximately 400,000 members nationwide. (Most of the following excerpts are from Wikipedia and relate to assistance programs offered by volunteers from RSVP)

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History

Senior Corps was formed from a merge of its constituent programs, Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions. The three were originally mandated under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 with similar aims. When the Corporation for National and Community Service was formed in 1993, the three organizations were reformed into a single agency--Senior Corps. The three national Senior Corps programs – Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions – have unique histories, and each was developed to meet a specific need. But all were crafted on the same belief that older adults are valuable resources to their communities.

RSVP began as an outgrowth by private groups and government agencies to create opportunities of engagement, activity, and growth for older Americans. One of the earliest programs, the Community Service Society of New York, began in 1965 on Staten Island. The project involved a small group of volunteers who were dedicated to serving their communities in a variety of ways. It was due to the success of their efforts that led to an amendment to the Older Americans Act, creating RSVP as a nationwide program in 1969.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

RSVP seeks to provide a method in which senior citizens can give back to their community. Flexible in nature, RSVP allows participants to choose how and when they work. Open to seniors 55 and over the program's goals are wide and varied, and include things such as tutoring children, building homes, helping immunize children, relief services, and aid to community organizations. Volunteers are given a pre-service orientation, on-the-job training from the placement agency or organization and supplemental insurance while on duty.,

One of the more widespread RSVP programs is a Telephone reassurance service. RSVP volunteers contact other seniors by phone to ensure their well being and to provide a friendly chat with the elderly.

Senior Companions

The Senior Companions program is aimed at helping citizens who need extra assistance to live independently, such as adults with disabilities or those with terminal illnesses and their caregivers. Participants provide both emotional and physical support by assisting with simple house chores, providing transportation, offering companionship, and simply adding richness to their clients' lives.

A senior companion must be 60 years of age and able to give between 15 and 40 hours of service per week. In addition to making a significant contribution to the lives of others, a participant also receives pre-service and monthly training, transportation reimbursement, an annual physical and meals and accident and liability insurance while on duty.

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