2020 brought many challenges and changes to how we volunteer and engage with others, particularly for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) community.
Over the last year, we worked hard alongside our site partners and volunteers to develop exciting new ways to volunteer virtually and stay engaged. We look forward to continuing to strengthen safe volunteer opportunities in King County and welcome your ideas and engagement.
What is AmeriCorps Seniors?
One positive change we saw in 2020 was the name change of our national funder, AmeriCorps Seniors (formerly called SeniorCorps). If you saw the new name or logo and wondered about it, here’s some more information about the name change and answers to some common questions.
AmeriCorps Seniors is a network of national service programs for Americans 55 years and older, made up of three primary programs: Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP. Each program takes a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. RSVP’s AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers commit time to addressing critical community needs, including tutoring, elder care, nutrition education, capacity-building for nonprofits, and more.
What is RSVP?
If you have ever wondered what RSVP does, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 and over. As part of the federally funded AmeriCorps Seniors, Solid Ground receives funding to run RSVP for King County. We partner with nearly 50 organizations throughout the County where RSVP volunteers serve, with all contributed hours meeting local community needs and counting toward a national service impact.
How does the name change impact RSVP volunteers’ service?
Other than now being called an AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer, there are no changes that impact volunteer service. RSVP of King County volunteers are still part of Solid Ground and have the same great benefits. Registering as an RSVP volunteer with Solid Ground opens the door to opportunities at organizations across King County.
RSVP’s AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers receive supplemental accident, personal liability, and auto liability insurance free of charge. They also receive the EIA (Experience in Action) newsletter three times a year, which keeps recipients and community members up to date on opportunities, the impact of fellow volunteers, and issues that matter to our community.
Safe volunteering options
During the COVID-19 pandemic, RSVP staff have worked to stay up to date on and support current, virtual, and safe volunteer activities. I want to personally thank our staff, amazing site partners, and especially our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers through RSVP for their resilience, engagement, and commitment to stay safe over this past year.
Going forward, we ask all volunteers to please continue to prioritize your health and safety, follow your volunteer site and health department guidelines for safe volunteering, and stay tuned for more information about virtual and safe volunteer opportunities that are the right fit for you. Please feel free to contact us to learn more. Together, we’re helping to solve poverty and support healthy, resilient communities.
If you’re 55+ and interested in learning more about volunteering with RSVP, please contact RSVP Coordinator Megan Wildhood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.694.6786.
RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is an AmeriCorps Seniors program that engages people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. Sponsored locally by Solid Ground, we match RSVP volunteers with opportunities to meet community needs at 60 partner organizations. To get involved, contact us at email@example.com today!
*EIA (Experience in Action) is RSVP’s member newsletter, printed three times a year.
This piece by Solid Ground’s Volunteer Services Manager Jen Gahagan appears in the Winter 2021 EIA: New Year, Hopes for a New Season.