Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 500,000 Americans age 55 and older to meet a wide range of community needs through three programs: RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions. RSVP volunteers conduct safety patrols for local police departments, participate in environmental projects, provide intensive educational services to children and adults, and respond to natural disasters, among other activities. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes.
RSVP, one of the largest volunteer efforts in the nation, engages people age 55 and older in a diverse range of volunteer activities. Volunteers organize neighborhood watch programs, tutor children, renovate homes, teach English to immigrants, assist victims of natural disasters, and serve their communities in a myriad of other ways. Through RSVP, more than 480,000 volunteers serve a few hours a week to nearly full time at an estimated 65,000 local and national nonprofit groups, places of worship, and government agencies. Volunteers are not paid, but sponsoring organizations may reimburse them for some costs incurred during service, including meals and transportation.
The Foster Grandparent Program provides a way for limited-income people age 60 and older to serve as extended family members to children and youth with exceptional needs. Foster Grandparents serve from 15 to 40 hours a week in schools, hospitals, correctional institutions, day-care facilities, and Head Start centers. They help children who have been abused or neglected, mentor troubled teenagers and young mothers, and care for premature infants and children with physical disabilities. In return for their service, Foster Grandparents receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour, accident and liability insurance and meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation, and monthly training. More than 30,000 Foster Grandparents tend to the needs of 275,000 young children and teenagers each year.
The Senior Companion Program provides a way for limited-income people age 60 and older to provide assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks, such as grocery shopping and bill paying. Senior Companions spend from 15 to 40 hours a week helping two to four adult clients live independently in their own homes. Senior Companions provide relief to caregivers and alert doctors and family members to potential problems. In return for their service, Senior Companions receive a stipend of $2.65 an hour, accident and liability insurance and meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation, and monthly training. Approximately 15,000 Senior Companions tend to the needs of more than 60,000 adults each year.
For additional information about Senior Corps, visit http://www.seniorcorps.gov/.