RSVP welcomes area volunteers
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Project of Southern Illinois, RSVP of SI, is looking for volunteers.
RSVP of SI is welcoming volunteers from 12 Southern Illinois counties.
Based out of Carterville, Illinois, RSVP of SI is currently serving Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson counties.
Volunteers for RSVP of SI help partner agencies assist seniors to remain in their homes longer by providing friendly visits and assisting with meals on wheels programs and help with K-12th grade success by tutoring and mentoring children 5-18 years of age.
“Volunteers are the lifeblood of any community,” said John Smith, director of the Egyptian Area Agency on Aging.
“Delivering meals, visiting the home-bound and mentoring our youth are building blocks for improving communities, and volunteers can help. Together with our partner agencies, our volunteers make communities great,” Smith said.
RSVP of SI offers benefits for their volunteers, such as a supplemental insurance policy that reimburses out-of-pocket costs for injuries and auto accidents that happen while volunteering.
Also available are mileage/meal reimbursement for those 55 years and older volunteering at qualifying non-profits/schools; Senior Corps/RSVP of SI gear, such as shirts, medals and awards; and other benefits.
RSVP of SI can personalize the volunteer experience by allowing volunteers to choose who they want to serve, where they want to serve and how often they want to serve (between two and 40 hours per week).
Studies show that volunteering helps the volunteer at least as much or more than it helps the organization they serve.
According to the Aging Network Volunteer Resource Center, “76 percent of volunteers said that serving made them feel better; 94 percent said it improved their mood; and 25 percent said it helped them manage a chronic illness.”
Lonnie Young, a widowed Marine veteran living in Marion, has a friendly visitor who was set up by RSVP of SI.
Before RSVP of SI, Lonnie had a worker who comes into his home daily and family visits when they can, but his volunteer gives him “another buddy” to look forward to seeing each week.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is supported by a grant through Senior Corps that was established in 1971 and was created to engage Americans 55 and older to improve their own lives by staying active and healthy through service to their communities.
Seniors can give back by “Leading with Experience,” according to Senior Corps’ RSVP slogan.
RSVP of SI is partnering with non-profits and schools all over Southern Illinois, including the Metropolis Library’s summer reading program, Herrin’s House of Hope soup kitchen, Harrisburg’s IYC Literacy Program and the Anna Coalition of Churches tutoring program, along with many others.
Those who are interested in volunteering or just want more information can call RSVP of SI at 618-985-8311, extension 113, or email RSVP@EgyptianAAA.org.