RSVP Cape Cod & Islands
68 Route 134
Senior Service Corps, also known as the Senior Corps or its older name: the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), is part of a nationwide network of half a million older volunteers involved in meaningful community services. The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded Elder Services the grant to run the Senior Corps on Cape Cod & Martha's Vineyard in 1993. Since then it has grown to a force of over 600 active and vital volunteers, all age 55 or older.
It costs nothing to join the Senior Corps; you need only have a willingness to serve an average of 5 hours per week at one or more Service Partners we have identified in the community. In return, we cover you with free accident and liability insurance, limited mileage reimbursement, training when appropriate, a quarterly newsletter, and an annual banquet. The Senior Corps has four main divisions:
The Adults Benefiting Children (ABC) Corps consists of those volunteers who work with or for children. They include knitters who make baby sweaters and blankets for A Baby Center in Hyannis, volunteers who help the Salvation Army at holiday tune with their "Dress a Live Doll" campaign, and a large group of literacy and math coaches who help children in grades K - 5 with their reading and math skills.
[Click here for information about the 3 R’s Program]
Friends and Neighbors (FANS) is by far our largest group of volunteers, comprising over half of our membership. FANS volunteers drive isolated people to medical appointments, deliver Meals on Wheels, teach osteoporosis-prevention exercise classes at Senior Centers and serve at a variety of health and human service agencies answering the phone, delivering health information or making referrals. Potential volunteers wishing to join FANS should contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 1-800-244-4630, ext 177.
Senior Environment Corps (SEC) volunteers are involved in monitoring and maintaining our fragile environment. They also help educate the public about many aspects of the environment by serving at museums, wildlife centers and nature reserves as trail guides, docents and exhibit makers. Some of the projects they are involved in include collecting and testing water samples from all beaches on Martha's Vineyard each summer to identify bacterial contamination when and if it occurs; helping with projects which grow seed mollusks both for study and for eating. Because this work is multi-faceted and much of it involves training,.
The USA Freedom Corps was initiated by President Bush after 9/11 so that everyone might have a chance to volunteer in the war against terrorism. Technically all of our volunteers, as well as VISTA and AmeriCorps volunteers, are part of the Freedom Corps. For our purposes, those Senior Corps volunteers who are trained to serve in the Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps, the Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT), TRIAD, Neighborhood Watch, the Red Cross or other Public Safety/Public Health initiatives fall under our Freedom Corps division. Any Senior Corps volunteer is eligible to participate as trainings are advertised and made available free of charge to those who wish to serve.
HOW TO JOIN THE SENIOR CORPS
Any person age 55 or older is invited to join the Senior Corps. People of all abilities and interests are encouraged to join. A volunteer coordinator will interview you and help you to find the volunteer position that puts the twinkle back in your eye. One or more referrals will be made and we will stay with you until you are happily placed.
As with all Elder Services volunteers and staff, Senior Corps applicants cannot be placed until they have passed a Criminal Office Records Investigation, affectionately known as a "CORI check". Once you are assigned to your duties, you must attend all trainings required of the position you chose and you must send in a monthly timesheet, signed by your on-site supervisor, so that we may tally your hours and report the results of our work to both the Corporation for National and Community Service and Congress. Your timesheet is also what keeps your volunteer insurance in effect.
Please contact the Senior Corps staff at the main Elder Services building. We are there 8 AM to 5 PM each day. .