RSVP Presents Seniors with Volunteer Opportunities

(Editor’s Note:The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is a referral service designed to place volunteers in non-profit organizations where their knowledge and skills positively impact the community and individuals served.The following article is part of a monthly series by RSVP highlighting the community based involvement and service of RSVP volunteers.)

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Clearfield County is a volunteer referral service designed to find meaningful and rewarding volunteer opportunities for people age 55 and over and to assist local agencies in meeting basic human needs. Seventy percent of the funding for RSVP is provided by a federal grant through the Corporation for National and Community Service.The Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. has been the local sponsor of the Clearfield County RSVP since 1989.

RSVP volunteers are placed at stations throughout Clearfield County.An RSVP station is defined as a public agency, private non-profit organization, or proprietary healthcare agency that requests and receives volunteers.Currently, RSVP has approximately 70 stations in the county.

Volunteer opportunities at an RSVP station fall under one of the following categories:Health/Nutrition, Human Needs Services, Education, Environment, Community and Economic Development, and Public Safety.Many RSVP volunteers

have a regular, ongoing commitment to volunteer their time at a specific RSVP station.

Other RSVP volunteers want to make a difference in their community and help to meet community needs but do not want to be locked into a set schedule.They want flexibility.For these volunteers, our “special events” volunteer opportunities are perfect!

Requests for assistance with special events are received throughout the year.Some examples are assisting the American Cancer Society with Daffodil Days, helping an organization with a large bulk mailing, working for special projects during Make a Difference Day, manning a table for a health/information fair or helping an organization with a fundraiser.

Decatur Village is located in Philipsburg close to the Clearfield County line and is a senior housing facility.RSVP volunteers at Decatur Village have assisted the residents of their home for many years helping with activities, neighborhood assistance and special parties.The volunteers have also assisted other RSVP stations by manning tables or selling chances at their local grocery store.Recently, RSVP volunteers at Decatur Village decided to take on special projects.

Some of the volunteers read about a winter hats and mittens project that RSVP does annually.Volunteers make winter articles and RSVP distributes them to Cen-Clear Child Services, the Salvation Army and local women’s shelters to help children stay warm during the cold weather.The volunteers at Decatur Village wanted to join the effort and have been busy creating hats and mittens to be given to the children.

The volunteers didn’t stop with the project for the children.They have also made lap robes for area nursing homes, Blinkie Blankets for children in crisis situations and also blankets for our soldiers overseas.They are touching many individuals with their caring service and their talents.

Bambi Phillips, Activities Coordinator for Decatur Village, cannot say enough about the residents of the home.When asked about the volunteers, Ms. Phillips said, “The residents here at Decatur Village are extremely helpful and creative people.The RSVP program provides a venue for them to take those skills and traits and use them to enrich the lives of others.”

Everyone has a talent or skill that they can use to help others.Whether they go to a site each week to donate their time or work in their own home, they can make a significant difference in the lives of others.

If you are age 55 or older and have often thought you would like to volunteer and make a difference in your community, please call the RSVP office.Even if you do not have a great amount of time to donate, a special project may be the perfect opportunity for you.Please call the RSVP office at (814) 765-2226 or 1-800-225-8571 today.

OCTOBER VOLUNTEER CORNER:

SCHOOL VOLUNTEERS:Volunteers are needed throughout Clearfield County to assist with programs involving literacy and children.Volunteers help children with reading activities.Opportunities are available in many Clearfield County school districts such as Harmony, West Branch, Moshannon Valley, Clearfield, Philipsburg and DuBois.Training and materials are provided and scheduling is flexible.This is a great opportunity to have a positive influence on the future and to use your life experience and skills.Call us today!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY PROJECTS:RSVP is working with the Clearfield

County Volunteer Network to assist with Make a Difference Day projects. Make a Difference Day is October 24, 2009 and volunteers may be needed throughout the county to assist many different organizations with projects.Please call the office if you would

like to make a difference in your community.

APPRISE VOLUNTEERS:Are you someone who has retired from the health field or someone who wants to help the older adults with health care issues?The APPRISE program at the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc. could use your help.APPRISE volunteers may work on the APPRISE “hotline”, answering questions or referring individuals to the appropriate source, or may choose to do face-to-face counseling.APPRISE training and information is provided by the PA Department of Aging and the local APPRISE coordinator.This is an exciting opportunity for you to help people with Medicare and health insurance concerns.Call the RSVP office for more details.All training is provided and scheduling is flexible.

If you are interested in any of the above volunteer opportunities or would like to learn more about RSVP, please call the RSVP office at (814) 765-2226 or 1-800-225-8571.

RSVP is sponsored and partially funded by the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Inc.Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Clearfield and DuBois United Way agencies, memorials and contributions.

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