December 11, 2018

NEMCSA RSVP extended to Oscoda County

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NORTHEAST MICHIGAN –– Senior citizens in Oscoda County are invited and encouraged to participate in volunteer service around their own communities through Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency RSVP, or Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

After receiving a grant from the Corporation for Community and National Service, RSVP of Northeast Michigan is in Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Presque Isle and Roscommon counties. RSVP was originally only in Crawford and Roscommon counties.

RSVP Services Coordinator Persis Sopariwala recently attended an Oscoda County Board of Commissioners meeting and introduced the program to the board, explaining the opportunities available to residents.

“RSVP offers people 55 and above the opportunity to engage in volunteer service to help meet the needs of their community,” she said. “RSVP is a very cool program and offers a lot of flexibility in where volunteers serve, how often they serve, and the work that they do. In addition, RSVP also offers several benefits to volunteers including mileage reimbursement to and from their site of service, free supplemental insurance, invitations to recognition events and our newsletter.”

RSVP was established in 1971 as the result of private groups, government agencies and gerontologists working together to address the needs of senior citizens. Today, RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in America for those aged 55 and older with more than 208,000 volunteers across the U.S.

RSVP is an important program because senior citizens are a vital resource in the community and have a lot of skills and wisdom to share, Sopariwala said.

“This program allows senior citizens not only to serve their community, but to share the knowledge they have acquired during their lifetime,” she said. “In addition, volunteer work has a number of health benefits, including a decreased sense of loneliness, increased vitality and energy and a renewed sense of purpose.”

Volunteers make the program what it is, according to Sopariwala. She said her favorite part of the job is working with people who selflessly give their time to service the community.

“We have great volunteers, and they all have such interesting stories to share,” she said. “When visiting with our volunteer stations, they frequently tell me how much they appreciate the RSVP volunteers, which I love to hear. Volunteers are integral to so many service agencies, and when people take the time to volunteer and get involved, it benefits both the service agencies, and by extension, the community as a whole.”

NEMCSA has opportunities mentoring children, driving seniors to doctors’ appointments or to get groceries, working in food pantries and more. For more information regarding RSVP, call 989-281-1505 or email rsvp@nemcsa.org.

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