This week marks the fourth-annual Senior Corps Week, an opportunity to thank Senior Corps volunteers for their service, said Donna Baugh, Volunteers in Action director. One way folks can become involved is by purchasing their Memorial Day flowers from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program this year. The flowers are on display at the RSVP office, 1025 Main, room D114 in Great Bend, and at the RSVP Thrift Store at 158 S. Main in Hoisington.
“These are recycled flowers that are just as good as new but at very affordable prices,” Baugh said. All the proceeds from the sale of the flowers will be used to fund recognition events for RSVP volunteers.
“This is a way to recognize these seniors for their positive impact and value to our communities and nation,” Baugh said. “Please help us to say ‘thank you’ for their generous gifts of time and talent to the communities where we all live and work.”
For more than four decades Senior Corps, and its three programs, RSVP, Senior Companions, and Foster Grandparents, have proven to be a highly effective way to engage Americans ages 55 and over in meeting national and community needs, she said. “Older Americans bring a lifetime of skills and experience as parents, workers, and citizens that can be tapped to meet challenges in our communities.”
Each year, Senior Corps provides opportunities for nearly 330,000 older Americans across the nation, including approximately 390 RSVP volunteers in Barton and Pawnee counties, to serve their communities.
Nationwide Senior Corps volunteers last year provided more than 96.2 million hours of service, “helping to improve the lives of our most vulnerable citizens, strengthen our educational system, protect our environment, provide independent living services and contribute tour public safety,” Baugh said. In Barton and Pawnee counties, RSVP volunteers served almost 45,000 hours.
At a time of mounting social needs and growing interest in service by older Americans, there is an unprecedented opportunity to harness the talents of 55-plus volunteers to address community challenges. “Service by older Americans helps volunteers by keeping them active, healthy and engaged; helps our communities by solving local problems, and helps our nation by saving taxpayer dollars, reducing healthcare costs, and strengthening our democracy,” she said.