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National Service Agency Announces Grants To Engage Seniors In Service

June 25, 2010

The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded 48 organizations grants under its Senior Corps Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to engage seniors in service projects that address national problems facing local communities. The RSVP Programs of National Significance grants, which total more than $ 1.2 million, will support current RSVP grantees throughout the US in mobilizing 4,000 senior volunteers to help mentor children, support independent living for seniors, promote energy efficiency and meet other critical community needs. “Now, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of our nation’s senior volunteers,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation, the federal agency that administers Senior Corps. “Seniors are critical to helping move the needle on the problems facing our local communities. These grants will expand opportunities for more seniors to help transform their communities through service.” The grants will provide training for seniors on their direct service roles and methods to recruit more volunteers to help build the capacity of local organizations. Authorized under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the grants will expand and better target federal resources toward the nation’s toughest challenges. Below is a list of some of the programs that will be funded by the RSVP grants. 

Boston: As part of the Renew Boston Initiative, 55 new RSVP volunteers serving with the Elderly Affairs Commission of the City of Boston will assist community organizations to educate residents on environmental and energy efficiency measures, including Boston's single stream recycling program, MassSave, and ways they can reduce home energy consumption.

Denver: Volunteers of America will mobilize 80 new RSVP volunteers for its Caring Companion program, which helps caregivers preserve their own health and well-being, while alleviating the stress and burden of care giving.

Chicago: The Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago will assign 125 skilled RSVP volunteers to strengthen the capacity of local nonprofits providing educational, tutoring, literacy and after school services to students with limited English proficiency.

Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of nearly 500,000 Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges through three programs—RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program. In FY 2009, RSVP volunteers delivered 62 million hours of service in their communities. Through a network of 741 grantees, RSVP volunteers expanded the capacity of more than 65,000 community organizations nationwide to deliver essential services such as tutoring, providing independent living assistance to seniors, assisting victims of natural disasters, and conducting safety patrols. The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit