Before we know it, the holiday season will be here. Many of us will gather with friends and family to share memories and give thanks. No matter how we choose to come together, something about this time of year sparks generosity.
There are many ways to give. But, one of the most valuable things you can offer is your time. Volunteers are essential for ensuring that all members of our community are safe, healthy, and happy this season.
No matter where you live, your community probably has a diverse list of needs. This allows you to choose a volunteer activity that fits your interests. Whether you enjoy working with youth, cooking, being outdoors, etc., you will likely find a way to give back that you enjoy.
Have you considered volunteering? Now is a great time to get involved with volunteer activities in your community!
Finding a volunteer opportunity that is right for you can be as simple as searching the internet. You may also want to check your newspaper or contact local nonprofits. If you have friends or family members who volunteer, consider joining them.
If you are 55 years or older, you can double your impact as a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program volunteer. This national program is a great way to make a noticeable difference while meeting people in your neighborhood.
What is the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program?
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, is the nation’s largest volunteer network for people 55 and older. A program of Senior Corps and funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, RSVP is an opportunity for older adults to make a difference for Americans, starting in their own communities.
Organizations across the United States facilitate RSVP programs. For example, VANTAGE Aging operates RSVP in Ohio’s Summit and Medina Counties. The organizations work as a central hub for community organizations and volunteers to connect. Volunteers express their interests and availability. Then, they are matched with the best-fitting organization.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program offers convenience. Because RSVP is a network, those involved do not have to work hard to find opportunities. People who want to volunteer can easily find enjoyable activities, and community agencies can easily find volunteers who care about their mission.
What opportunities are available to RSVP volunteers?
The opportunities available to RSVP volunteers depend on the needs of the community. Any nonprofit organization can become a part of the RSVP network. To access volunteers, the organization must contact the RSVP program for their area.
If a person or group already volunteer for a nonprofit, they can simply sign up as RSVP volunteers and continue the work they are already doing.
If a person or group wants to begin volunteering, they can contact the RSVP program in their area to find opportunities.
RSVP programs designate specific focus areas based on community needs. For example, VANTAGE RSVP focuses on these areas:
- Healthy futures
- Environmental stewardship
- Economic opportunities
- Capacity building
- Senior isolation
If your volunteer activity does not fit into one of these categories, that’s OK. You can still sign up to be an RSVP volunteer. Anyone 55 years or older is welcome to join!
Current needs in Summit and Medina Counties
Do you live in Summit or Medina County? Here are some current opportunities where we could use your help this giving season.
VANTAGE Aging Brand Ambassadors
Do you like talking to people? Share information about VANTAGE’s mission to promote positive aging at community events, health fairs, and senior expos.
CSFP Food Distribution
Help fight food insecurity by distributing nutritious food boxes to seniors from our Akron Office.
Goodwill Reading Radio Program
Read on a radio program to help those with print and vision impairments access local newspapers, magazines, best-selling books, and talk shows.
Summa Patient Experience Volunteer
Visit with hospital patients to brighten their day.
Help kids develop healthy habits during the fundamental stages of childhood.
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
Feed the community by helping in the warehouse, office, and at special events.
Be a senior companion to help patients and their families live each day to the fullest.
TeleCare Phone a Friend
Everyone deserves a nice conversation. Volunteer to provide a friendly phone call to a senior facing isolation.
We hope you can join us this fall with a cause you are passionate about. While volunteering is a lot of fun, it also impacts the lives of so many people!
You can sign up for any of our activities in Summit or Medina County through our new, easy-to-use online volunteer sign up form. Or, call us at 330-253-4597 to get started.
*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.