Family & Community Services, Inc. (F&CS) announced today that it has received a Senior Corps RSVP grant totaling $188,478 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support 452 RSVP volunteers serving in four more counties in Ohio. The grant will expand the F&CS RSVP presence in Delaware, Franklin, Geauga and Wayne counties, which Geauga and Wayne counties were previously unserved by a Senior Corps RSVP project.
“Senior Corps RSVP Program connects today’s seniors with the people and organizations that need them. We help them become mentors, coaches or companions to people in need, or contribute their job skills and expertise to community projects and organizations,” states Gerard Kelly, RSVP Director at Family & Community Services, Inc.
The funds were awarded as part of a Senior Corps grant competition to expand RSVP to new geographic areas. Through F&CS RSVP volunteers will mentor and tutor students, be companions to elderly and disabled, help with their transportation needs and work closely with food pantries.
Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in citizen service that addresses the nation’s most pressing challenges — everything from fighting the opioid epidemic, reducing crime and reviving cities, connecting veterans to jobs and benefits, preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs, ensuring seniors age independently and with dignity, and help Americans rebuild their lives following a disaster.
While serving, RSVP volunteers also improve their own lives, staying active and healthy through service. A growing body of research points to mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations.
In 2016, more than 208,000 Senior Corps RSVP volunteers served in communities across the country. Through community and faith-based organizations, RSVP volunteers served more than 300,000 veterans, mentored more than 78,000 children, and provided independent living services to more than 797,000 older adults.
According to the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America report by CNCS, more than 21 million Americans 55+ contributed more than 3.3 billion hours of service in their communities. Based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, their collective service provides a yearly economic benefit valued at $78 billion.
Family and Community Services, Inc. is one of the largest social service agencies in Northeast Ohio and has spent the past 75 years helping individuals of all ages. The agency covers 21 counties and has more than 71 programs, including the Center of Hope, Kent Social Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the County Clothing Center to name a few. Family and Community Services, Inc. assists over 100,000 people on an annual basis and provides life’s basic needs to counseling and mentoring services. Learn more by visiting fcsserves.org. For more information on our Senior Corps programs, call the office at 330-677-3939.
Senior Corps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service. CNCS engages millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs and leads volunteer and civic engagement initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.