Wednesday October 9, 2013
RSVP program connects seniors to volunteer service
Louisville Metro RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) was recognized as a 2013 National Service Impact Award honoree by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) during the AmeriCorps 20th Anniversary kick-off ceremony in Washington, D.C., on September 20, 2013.
The National Service Impact Awards recognize the demonstrable impact made by everyday citizens who serve their communities and exemplify the best in national and community service. In a show of support, Southwest Airlines will provide one person from each 2013 Service Impact Award honoree with a round-trip airline ticket good for any of their destinations.
Awards were judged on the impact made in the one of the six focus areas outlined in the agency's five-year Strategic Plan: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. One additional award was presented after being selected as the People’s Choice winner from voting that took place on Challenge.gov.
Louisville Metro RSVP, part of Louisville Metro Department of Community Services and Revitalization, is the only Senior Corps program in the nation being recognized in these awards. Louisville RSVP submitted its nomination for Best Practices in the Healthy Futures category.
“The Corporation for National and Community Service gives these awards to shine a spotlight on the impact our programs are making in communities throughout the country,” said Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO. “We know the value in engaging volunteers and national service leaders, and it’s an honor to recognize these great programs and great volunteer leadership in action.”
For more than 30 years RSVP and the Louisville Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) have been partners in service to veterans in Kentucky. Some of the program’s RSVP volunteers have overcome partial or total blindness to serve as bulk mailing clerks for the primary care and many specialized medical clinics on-site. The combined Louisville Metro RSVP/Blinded Veterans Group usually prepares more than 30,000 personalized appointment reminders annually for veterans.
The RSVP/VAMC Escort Department Volunteers transport patients and/or laboratory samples to and from points within the VAMC, making more than 11,000 escorts errands annually. Eight of the RSVP volunteers also serve in a leadership capacity on the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services (Advisory) Committee.
Twenty RSVP volunteers at the medical center provide an average of more than 630 hours of service to the community’s veterans every month.
“The Louisville RSVP/VAMC volunteers, over the years and currently, are creating models for others to follow and have proven themselves to be local heroes. The entire facility is now named after Robley Rex, a long-lived veteran and RSVP volunteer for over 20 years. So many have left legacies of compassionate caring, healing humor and unswerving dedication,” says 23-year RSVP employee and current Program Director, Marian Gosling. “It is an honor to know and nominate them.”
RSVP recruits, supports and promotes recognition of adult volunteers age 55 and over for their volunteer service with affiliated not-for-profits, public service and proprietary care facilities in efforts to have positive impact on community needs. Over 600 RSVP volunteers currently serve nearly 60 sites of public service and non-profit organization in Louisville. For more information, on how to get involved, call 502/574-7306 http://www.louisvilleky.gov/CSR/Community+Services/Retired+Senior+Volunteer+Program.htm