by Lenny Fabro, Project Director, RSVP Oahu Volunteer Program
The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), one of the largest senior volunteer networks in the U.S., is one of three Senior Corps programs funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that supports service and volunteering.
The mission of the Oahu RSVP is to enhance the lives of older adults and help prevent senior homelessness by meeting the community’s needs through volunteerism, and partnerships with nonprofit organizations and public agencies — including schools.
RSVP also addresses the mission of the Elderly Affairs Division of the City and County of Honolulu to strengthen the community by improving the quality of life for its citizens in need through delivery of essential, supportive services.
Program volunteers help provide health and nutrition services, and also provide tutoring for children and literacy programs for adults.
RSVP volunteers contribute to public safety and help provide advocacy for seniors. They also help promote and sustain local culture and assist with environmental restoration.
The benefits of RSVP are many. Isolated seniors feel less lonely as they develop close ties to volunteers; companionship is just a phone call away through RSVP. Many seniors are able to continue living in their own homes with the support they receive from RSVP volunteers. Seniors can receive nutritious meals through Meals on Wheels food delivery, or may even be able to do their own grocery shopping and errands with the help of RSVP volunteers. Transportation is also provided for trips to and from medical appointments.
More importantly, through RSVP, seniors have the opportunity to be linked with other services they may need.
RSVP provides services to other family members, including respite for caregivers.
The program also serves underprivileged children by providing them lunch, and serves veterans and their families, as well as young military families.
The Volunteer Experience
Oahu RSVP strives to provide a high-quality volunteer experience in order to facilitate the program’s expansion.
Volunteers 55 and older are assessed, recruited and linked with opportunities that match their interests, and make use of their wisdom, skills and life experience to help social service agencies meet needs.
Volunteers are placed in nonprofits and public agencies, also known as “Volunteer Stations,” throughout the community.
The program offers prospective volunteers a wide array of placement choices from 38 nonprofit organizations, public agencies, schools and support services.
The RSVP program can be accessed at City & County of Honolulu Customer Services Departments. Or contact the Oahu RSVP using the information below to either become a volunteer or to enlist some of its many valuable services for yourself or a loved one. n
RSVP OAHU VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
City & County of Honolulu DCS/Elderly Affairs Division
715 S. King St. Rm. 211, Honolulu HI 96813