What’s RSVP of Ingham, Eaton & Clinton Counties?
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Grandma Dorothy has been a tremendous volunteer at Cornell Elementary in Okemos, MI.  She is a foster grandparent and has impacted so many lives.


Courtesy photo

RSVP Volunteer Opportunities

•Meals on Wheels – Delivering meals to seniors – Openings on Tuesday and Wednesdays

•River Trail Patrol – Patrol the River Trail on a golf cart – Various Days – 2 shifts (9am-noon and 2pm-5pm), Many openings on Fri., Sat. & Sun.

•Capital Region International Airport – Various days and time slots open.  3 Shift (8am to Noon, Noon to 4pm, and 4pm to 8pm) Operates 7 days a week. 

•Medical/Nutritional Drivers – Volunteers would transport folks to and from medical appointments and trips to the Food Banks, (Mon. – Fri., mileage reimbursement at $0.40/mile.


LANSING, MI -- The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Ingham, Eaton & Clinton Counties (RSVP) is made up of three programs, Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions and Senior Corp.  They receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which is a federal agency that leads service, volunteering, and grant-making efforts in the United States. 

Together with local partners they help millions of Americans improve their lives and the lives of others through service. These programs are for volunteers who are 55 and older. Age is not a limit; they have volunteers that are 94 years old.  Each year, CNCS engages more than 200,000 older adults in volunteer service through its Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs, enriching the lives of the volunteers and benefiting their communities.  Senior volunteers have been making a difference in their communities for decades.
RSVP gives senior volunteers an opportunity to serve in variety of sites giving of their talents, knowledge and time to better the lives of those they come in contact with.  Whether as a Foster Grandparent who cradles an infant, or helps the child learn to read they are shaping our future. Or our Senior Companions who instill dignity with a level of independence through companionship and respite.  Our RSVP volunteers can choose assignments that support more social contact and teamwork, or they can work in their own home knitting hats, scarves, mittens and lap robes. Volunteers can learn new skills in crafts, counseling Medicare/ Medicaid recipients, tutoring students, or provide community education in an emergency. 
Grandparent Dorothy
Dorothy Rush received the Lifetime Award from United Way for over 25 years of volunteering as a Foster Grandparent. 
From the teacher’s application: 
“Dorothy is tremendous volunteer at Cornell Elementary.  Her spirit and enthusiasm are infectious.  Dorothy gives targeted help to her kindergarten students in reading and writing and is a constant supporter of their learning goals.  With her caring and enthusiasm Dorothy works to motivate the students, and she never shies away from an adventure…recently she joined 93 kindergartners and their teacher on a school bus when they went on a field trip to an apple orchard.  The students are often in awe of her, as she navigates the classroom both with and without her walker to help them. Likewise, having her part of these young student’s lives allows them the opportunity to have a relationship with an elderly person, and to show respect and care.  As a 93-year-old, Dorothy is a role model of caring and perseverance.  She shows the children what is like to be a life-long leaner, the importance of giving back to your community, and how to care for one another.”
Foster Grandparents Program
Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is one of the oldest and most successful intergenerational programs in the country for senior volunteers.  The program provides a way for volunteers age 55 and older to stay active by serving children and youth in our communities. Foster Grandparents are role models, mentors, tutors, and friends to children with exceptional needs.  RSVP recruits and places FGP volunteers to serve at organizations throughout Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties.  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.  You are helping children learn to read providing one-on-one tutoring, mentoring troubled teenagers and young mothers, caring for premature infants or children with disabilities and helping children who have been abused or neglected.
 If you meet income qualifications (200% of the federal poverty level or lower) you receive a tax-free monetary stipend monthly as well as transportation while serving.  You will also receive: 
-- An annual physical examination 
-- A tax-exempt stipend including paid leave and holidays
-- Invitation to recognition events
-- Assistance with meal costs while volunteering
-- Foster Grandparents are required to serve at least 15 hours per week.
-- Stipend, meal and travel reimbursements are not considered income and do not interfere with Social Security,   Medicaid. or Medicare benefits. 
Senior Companions Programs
The Senior Companion Program (SCP) started nationally in 1974.  Our volunteers serve locally in homes, adult day care centers, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care centers. 
Senior Companions help older adults with chronic and acute medical conditions and frailties maintain their highest level of independence through companionship and respite.
Volunteers that serve through the SCP build caring, supportive relationships with older adults in need of companionship. Senior Companions increase social engagement through reminiscing, playing cards, going for walks, and otherwise provide support to help their client(s) maintain their physical, emotional, and cognitive health.
As a Senior Companion if you meet income qualifications (200% of the federal poverty level or lower) you receive a tax-free monetary stipend monthly as well as transportation and meals while serving, along with: 
--Pre-service and on-going training
--An annual physical examination
--Supplemental liability insurance
--A tax-exempt stipend including paid leave and holidays
--Invitation to recognition events
--Assistance with meal costs while volunteering
Senior Companions are required to serve minimum of 15 hours per week.  Stipend, meal and travel reimbursements are not considered income and do not interfere with Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare benefits.
Senior Companions offer adults contact with the world outside of their homes and make their lives less lonely. Along the way, Senior Companions find out that few things feel as good as knowing you’re needed by others.
RSVP Senior Corp
RSVP Senior Corp is a community-based organization that recruits a broad range of volunteers to meet the diverse needs of our partner organizations. They strengthen the organizations we serve while enriching the lives of our volunteers. Their volunteers are dedicated and caring individuals with vast life experiences, which contribute to the unique services they provide.
RSVP volunteers choose how, where, and how often they want to serve, with commitments ranging from a few hours a year to 40 hours per week. 
Volunteers receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where they will serve, and supplemental insurance while on duty. RSVP volunteers do not receive monetary incentives, but sponsoring organizations may reimburse them for some costs incurred during their service time. They give their time to help children in school, keep parks and trails safe and clean, welcome newcomers to the region when they step off a plane, provide information in health care settings, senior centers, and nutrition sites, provide support for seniors aging in place, and work with active military and their families as they deploy to the armed services.
Volunteers can choose assignments that support more social contact and teamwork, or they can work in their own home knitting hats, scarves, mittens and lap robes. Volunteers can learn new skills in crafts, counseling Medicare/Medicaid recipients, tutoring students, or providing community education in emergency preparedness.
Who can be an RSVP volunteer?  
--Must be at least 55 years of age or older
--Must enjoy working in their communities
--Required training for some assignments
The benefits to the community include our volunteers’ step in when a need is identified; new assignments are developed often based on needs and opportunities. Some assignments are ongoing as the need is always present.
Volunteers report less depression and increased social engagement. They also often state they receive more than they give when working in their communities.
For more information, call 517-887-6116 between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and speak with  staff about what opportunities are available based on your interests.  They can send you an application in the mail or log on to www.rsvp-lansing.com and download the application, fill it out and either stop by or mail it.  They are located at 2400 Pattengill Avenue at the Dr. Eva Evans Welcome Center. 

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