The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a federal program that helps older adults address community needs through volunteer service.
It was initially authorized by Congress in 1969 under the Older American's Act of 1965 and was placed under the Department of Health, Education and Welfare's Administration on Aging. In 1971 Administration was transferred to the national Volunteer agency, ACTION. In September of 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service was created as part of a new federal law. Action was disbanded and administration of RSVP was transferred to the new corporation. RSVP is now part of the National Senior Service Corps, a division of the corporation.
The two volunteer management programs which make up "The Volunteer Connection" are RSVP (Six County Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and the Volunteer Center.
Six County RSVP is funded by a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The RSVP program encourages volunteers over the age of 55 to put their skills and life-experience to work to solve priority problems in their local communities.
However, as we organized our program in 1998, we discovered that volunteers did not necessarily wish to be identified as “Senior” or perhaps even as “Retired”. They loved the nation-wide affiliation with 500,000 other RSVP volunteers – and appreciated the good volunteer management principles available through RSVP – but they wanted to work side-by side with volunteers of all ages as they tackled the really tough problems in their communities.
In order to accomplish the mission, vision, and values – volunteerism is encouraged by volunteers of all ages.
RSVP is for volunteers 55 years of age and older; and The Volunteer Center is for individuals 54 and younger. These programs help people put their skills and life experience to work for their communities. Volunteers serve from a few hours a week to forty hours a week. They also serve in various capacities from volunteering at the hospital and serving at the Food Bank, to assisting with disaster preparedness initiatives and serving as 4-h leaders. Through this service volunteers meet critical community needs and allow The Volunteer Connection to “Tell the Story” about the type of service being done in the community.
Our Mission & vision
It is the mission of The Volunteer Connection (Six County RSVP and the Volunteer Center) to connect people with opportunities to serve, promote volunteering, "Tell the Story", celebrate the impact of constructive volunteering, and meet local community needs.
It is the Vision of The Volunteer Connection to mobilize people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community problems.