What is RSVP?
RSVP, formerly known as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service and an Operating Agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, we are also supported by the United Way of the Ozarks and the Greene County Senior Citizen’s Fund.
RSVP connects seniors aged 55 and older to service opportunities in their communities. There are no educational, income, or experience requirements, no dues or membership fees, no meetings to attend.
RSVP provides human capital—people power—to multiply the impact of 134 volunteer stations. RSVP volunteers enable organizations to serve additional people, expand services offered, and build stronger programs.
In addition to providing volunteers to existing organizations, RSVP sponsors two opportunities to serve: the Reading Buddies and Homebound Shopper programs. The Reading Buddies program pairs an RSVP volunteer with an elementary school students (grades 1-3) to read together for half an hour, every week. This relationship-building activity helps at-risk children improve their reading skills and also to connect with a caring adult. For the RSVP volunteers who serve as Reading Buddies, they say it’s just plain fun!
The Homebound Shopper program connects volunteers with seniors who are unable to leave their homes to complete grocery shopping. The Homebound Shopper volunteer can visit once a week, twice a month, every other month—it’s up to the resident and their shopper!
“I don’t know what I would do without this service. My husband has Alzheimer’s and we are between staying in our home and being forced into a nursing home. Because of our shopper, we are able to stay here a little longer. She is a wonderful person and I mean that from the bottom of my heart!”
–Homebound Shopper Client
How to Volunteer
Volunteers can join RSVP several ways:
- Through their volunteer worksite, if that organization has a memorandum of understanding with RSVP
- In response to special programming initiatives like Homebound Shoppers and Reading Buddies
Did you know? Older Americans who volunteer frequently live longer and report better health. Volunteering can also lead to more friendships and a more positive attitude.
RSVP Facts specific to Council of Churches of the Ozarks:
More than 500 new books were given out to Reading Buddy Students last year.
RSVP has close to 200 Reading Buddy Volunteers who make a difference in 500 students' lives.
RSVP volunteers help prepare and package meals at the senior centers in ourcommunity.
RSVP volunteers help deliver meals to seniors who can't get out for a hot, nutritious meal.
Paulette Wasmer, Director627 N. GlenstoneSpringfield, MO 65802417-862-3595 ext. 227
Reading Buddies Program
Sarah Derr, Education Coordinator
627 N. Glenstone
Springfield, MO 65802
417-831-9696 ext. 234