RSVP AmeriCorps Seniors: Empowering Seniors to Make a Lasting Impact in Communities

In the heart of Utah County, a group of local heroes quietly but steadfastly shapes our community for the better. More than 250 senior volunteers donated more than 15,800 hours last year as RSVP volunteers. The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), an AmeriCorps Seniors initiative launched over five decades ago, empowers individuals aged 55 and older to make an enduring impact in their neighborhoods.

“RSVP volunteers are the heartbeat of our communities, their dedication and passion are truly unmatched,” Katie Chase, RSVP Volunteer Coordinator with MAG Aging & Family Services, said. “Their commitment to service inspires communities and brings about tangible change that ripples through our neighborhoods.”

For years, MAG’s RSVP, operating under the Corporation for National and Community Service, has become a powerhouse of goodwill. Its volunteers engage in a multitude of initiatives tailored to address the specific needs and challenges faced by our community.

“One of the most remarkable aspects of RSVP is the sheer diversity of talents and passions our volunteers bring,” Chase said. “Their willingness to lend a hand wherever it’s needed is what truly makes our program so impactful.”

Chase often finds volunteers among the recently retired who wish to leverage their years of expertise to do more with their golden years. 

“RSVP is like a service club,” Chase said. “In addition to connecting volunteers with meaningful opportunities, they can use their skills to lighten the load of social service and nonprofit organizations.”

RSVP partners with local social services and nonprofit organizations to place volunteers based on skills, interests and time availability. The contributions of RSVP volunteers significantly alleviate pressure on those organizations. By generously offering their time and skills, they amplify the capabilities of these entities, enabling them to serve communities more comprehensively. 

“A great example of a program that benefits from this partnership is Friendly Callers,” Chase said. “Our local ‘Friendly Callers’ do so much to help seniors who would otherwise feel very alone. Unfortunately, we have a lengthy waiting list for seniors in need. We can definitely use more volunteers.”

Friendly-Callers-Carol-Ann-Heuer

Friendly Callers addresses companionship and isolation by matching seniors with a volunteer for one-on-one weekly phone conversations

Other RSVP volunteer opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following focus areas:

Tutoring & literacy for elementary age children

Companionship (Friendly Callers, hospice visits)

Food security (Meals on Wheels)

Senior Transportation 

Hospitals & Museums

“From mentoring students in elementary schools to delivering meals to homebound seniors, volunteers can find myriad opportunities to give back to their communities in retirement,” Chase said. ”Age is not a barrier to creating a lasting and meaningful impact in our community.”

To join RSVP, interested volunteers must be at least 55 years old, able to volunteer for at least one hour per week, and enjoy working with others to better our community. Call 801-229-3820 or visit magutah.org/rsvp to sign up.

Submitted by Stephanie Benson

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