The importance of service

People over 55 give time and labor to RSVP, AmeriCorps

Posted 4/6/22

REGION — Did you miss AmeriCorps Week in March?

It hailed the volunteer work of a legion of people aged 55 and up, the members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and AmeriCorps …

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The importance of service

People over 55 give time and labor to RSVP, AmeriCorps

Posted

REGION — Did you miss AmeriCorps Week in March?

It hailed the volunteer work of a legion of people aged 55 and up, the members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and AmeriCorps Seniors.

“The week-long celebration [March 13 to19] honors our volunteers plus the contributions and support of thousands of local organizations that make AmeriCorps programs possible,” said Sullivan County RSVP coordinator Martha Tully.

Learn more about RSVP and join

In Sullivan County, contact Tully at 845/807-0255 or email Martha.Tully@sullivanny.us.

In Wayne and Pike counties, call RSVP coordinator Dawn Houghtaling at 570/390-4540, email houghtalingd@diakon.org or visit www.diakon.org/community-services/rsvp/.

At the national level, AmeriCorps engages 250,000 Americans each year in service through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors programs. The citizens help communities manage COVID-19 response, ensure students stay on track to graduate, combat hunger and homelessness, respond to natural disasters, fight the opioid epidemic, help seniors live independently, support veterans and military families and much more.

More than 1.2 million Americans have served their country through AmeriCorps, and millions more have served in AmeriCorps Seniors since 1994.

A growing body of research shows that service has an effect on not just the communities served, but also on the members themselves.

“Volunteers choose how, where, and when they want to serve, with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week,” Tully said. “We can definitely find an opportunity that fits you with one of our 60 participating not-for-profit partners.”

RSVP offers partial mileage reimbursement and full reimbursement for medical transportation and home-delivered meals.

Volunteers can distribute home-delivered meals to homebound seniors in the community, prepare taxes for senior citizens and low-income families, provide telephone reassurance to isolated seniors to ensure their wellbeing, provide medical transportation to important doctor’s appointments and specialty services, perform hospice care, help out at local museums and historical societies, and much more.

“Our volunteers themselves report better health and longevity having served in their community,” Tully said. “There is research that demonstrates the mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression and fewer physical limitations.”

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