Senior Corps Volunteers Have Creative Solutions for Communities

When our communities have problems that need solving, volunteers are the backbone of effecting change on the ground level. They face our biggest challenges head on and ask for nothing in return. Often, the simple gratification of helping others is enough.

The volunteer’s work many times goes unrecognized, although their impact is undeniable and invaluable. At VANTAGE, we are here to let you know that we see you, we recognize your efforts, and we couldn’t do it without you. Thank you to all of the volunteers who are committed to their communities and country.

When resources and time are not on their sides, volunteers turn to creative solutions. They are innovative thinkers with a passion to do good, whose drive often can turn into something quite amazing.

We would like to take a moment to turn the spotlight on one particular volunteer who has dedicated her time to improving the lives of children through innovative solutions.

Meet Tana – Using Sign Language to Spark Young Minds

Tana is an active member of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. RSVP is the largest national volunteer network for people 55 and older. As a program of Senior Corps, RSVP is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which connects more than 200,000 Americans to service opportunities in their communities.

Tana volunteers with the Akron Area YMCA’s Summit County CATCH program through VANTAGE RSVP. She represents VANTAGE RSVP at the YMCA’s Summit County CATCH Collaborative Partner meetings.

While representing RSVP, Tana stepped up to make a significant contribution at the Firestone Park YMCA Summer Day Camp. Last year, she recruited senior volunteers to join her in reading with the children. Tana also coordinated the completion of volunteer licensing requirements and schedules.

Tana used her experience and ingenuity to come up with innovate ways to engage the children through song and sign language.

“This technique engaged the children in full brain learning and led to meaningful connections between the children and senior volunteers,” said Akron Area YMCA Director of Cause Advancement Helena Peters. “Tana gave further testament to her commitment to the children we serve through a generous contribution to support CATCH. We appreciate you, Tana!”

Recognized for a Job Well Done

Tana was recognized as the 2018 CATCH Volunteer of the Year at the Akron Area YMCA’s annual dinner in the spring. She made a significant contribution to the Summer Day Camp by recruiting volunteers to and helping coordinate the completion of licensing requirements.

Most importantly, Tana came up with creative ways to engage children through song and sign language. She stuck with the YMCA as the agency identified ways to add structure to the program and address behavioral challenges. 

Song and Sign Language

Want to see Tana in action? Check out this video of her with the Summer Day Campers at Akron Area YMCA’s Cascade Learning Center signing the song, “What a Wonderful World,” by Louis Armstrong.

Do you live in Summit or Medina Counties? VANTAGE RSVP can match you with one of our community partners to find you a volunteer activity that you enjoy. If you belong to a nonprofit that could use some volunteers or you want to volunteer, give a call at 330-253-4597 or email   

*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.

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