The funding will expand the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) presence in Southern Indiana, where LHDC has been providing service opportunities for older Americans as an RSVP project since 1977.
With this funding, the program will leverage seniors' skills and experience in the three-county area to serve in the project areas of Food Security, Access to Care, Aging in Place, Capacity Building, Disaster Services, and Other Community Priorities. Under these project areas, the volunteers will serve in local food panties, assist with the Senior Farmer's Market Nutrition Program, conduct vision screenings for local Head Start programs, provide companionship for the homebound and disabled, assist with capacity building efforts for local non-profit organizations, assemble emergency preparedness kits, and serve in local organizations such as schools, hospitals, and assisted living facilities.
The RSVP is open to anyone age 55 or over. The program provides a variety of volunteer opportunities to accommodate a wide array of skill sets and disabilities. If you are interested in serving, or if you currently volunteer but not as an RSVP member and wish to join our team of volunteers in Crawford, Perry, and Spencer Counties, please contact Kathleen Ferguson, RSVP Manager, at 1-800-467-1435 ext. 230, or by emailing kferguson@LHDC.org.
Throughout the challenges of 2020, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers persisted, supporting communities as they respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19. These dedicated volunteers have combatted food insecurity, helped students transition to online schooling, connected veterans to jobs and benefits, and responded to the community need the pandemic created. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers continue to respond creatively to the challenges presented by COVID-19, adapting their service models to serve their communities better while staying safe.
These new COVID-safe service initiatives include sewing masks for first responders, daily wellness calls to homebound senior citizens, and contact tracing. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers stay healthy and active through service, improving their own lives as they improve the lives of others. A growing body of research affirms the numerous mental and physical health benefits of volunteerism, including lower mortality rates, decreased rates of depression, and increased strength and energy. Findings from a recent agency-sponsored study show that AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs report feeling less depressed and isolated, along with stable or improved health scores. Today, AmeriCorps Seniors engages approximately 195,000 older Americans in service at 29,800 locations across the United States and territories through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs. Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in service, responding to our nation's most pressing challenges.