What Is the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)?
Camden County Senior Corps/RSVP is funded by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS)and has been hosted by The Community Planning & Advocacy Council (CPAC) for over 30 years. RSVP volunteers have serviced their local community in hundreds of ways. RSVP has been charged by the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) to address six focus areas identified in the Serve America Act. These six focus areas are:
Veterans and Military Families
RSVP is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. RSVP has nearly 500,000 volunteers meeting community needs across the country. With RSVP, you choose how and where you want to serve. You choose the amount of time you want to give. And you choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones. In short, you find the opportunity that’s right for you. RSVP offers a full range of volunteer opportunities with thousands of local and national organizations. There are over 250 volunteers within Camden County alone working in nonprofits, faith-based organizations, government agencies, health centers, schools, and senior centers. Camden County RSVP has seniors serving in capacities such as tutors, mentors, advocates on the state level for senior and youth services, disaster preparedness projects, legal representatives, grant reviewers, food delivery services, and organizational capacity building assistance. Every volunteer is important to us, which is why we offer pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you will serve, and free supplemental insurance while on duty. RSVP cares about every one of its volunteers and works hard to ensure the success of all. RSVP members experience a greater sense of self by helping others in need. Studies have proven that those who volunteer have greater longevity, higher functional ability, less likelihood for heart disease, and look at life in a positive way.
What Is the Senior Companions Program?
Senior Companions are volunteers 55 and over who provide assistance and friendship to seniors who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as shopping or paying bills. The program aims to keep seniors independent longer and provide respite to family caregivers.
Senior Companions serve 15 to 40 hours per week helping an average of two to four adult clients live independently in their own homes. Volunteers receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where they serve, supplemental insurance while on duty, and may qualify to earn a tax-free hourly stipend.
And remember: When you volunteer, you’re not just helping others—you’re helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is the result of a merger between two previously existing agencies, ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service. For two decades, ACTION administered AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps programs—Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions. ACTION was authorized by the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended.
1990: National and Community Service Act of 1990 — A renewed focus on volunteerism in America led to the passage of the National and Community Service Act of 1990. This legislation, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, created a new independent federal agency named the Commission on National and Community Service.
The Commission on National and Community Service was charged with supporting four streams of service:
Service-learning programs for school-aged youth
Higher education service programs
National service demonstration models
1992: National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) — A bipartisan group of senators, working with the Bush administration, drafted legislation to create NCCC as a demonstration program to explore the possibility of using post-Cold War military resources to help solve national challenges. The NCCC, enacted as part of the 1993 Defense Authorization Act, was decided to be a residential service program modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and the United States military.
1993: The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 — Both the NCCC and the Commission on National and Community Service were incorporated into the Clinton administration’s National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. A bipartisan coalition of Congress members introduced the bill, which President Bill Clinton signed into law on Sept. 21, 1993. The legislation created the Corporation for National and Community Service, and three CNCS administered programs (Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America) with the responsibility of mobilizing Americans into service.