For Immediate Release Friday, February 22, 2013
Samantha Jo Warfield
National Service Agency Grants to Support 80,000 Senior Volunteers
205 organizations receive Senior Corps grants through competitive process
WASHINGTON, DC – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today announced more than $14 million in funding to support organizations and nonprofits across the country. The organizations will leverage the experience and talents of RSVP Senior Corps volunteers in schools, conservation projects, disaster response, veterans’ services, and other priorities.
Nearly 80,000 new senior volunteers will have the opportunity to serve through 205 organizations receiving awards in 35 states. These funds were awarded as part of the first grant competition since 1971 for RSVP, one of three Senior Corps programs administered by CNCS. Grantees selected will address a wide range of community issues, from disaster response and early childhood education to veterans and military families and environmental stewardship.
A complete list of grants is available here.
“Today, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of all citizens to help solve our most pressing challenges,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Americans age 55 and over are a powerful resource to help communities achieve real change. These new RSVP grants will provide the bridge to connect seniors to meaningful service opportunities, so that they may deliver the enormous social and economic benefits we know are good for our nation.”
Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in volunteer opportunities across the country, allowing citizens to be a part of the solution to community challenges. RSVP volunteers provide support to veterans and their families, help seniors to live independently in their homes, mentor at-risk youth, and provide critical support to communities recovering from disasters. While serving, RSVP volunteers also improve their own lives, by staying active and civically engaged.
In 2012, 320,000 RSVP volunteers delivered more than 47 million hours of service in their communities. Through community and faith-based organizations, RSVP volunteers served more than 563,000 veterans, mentored more than 82,500 children, and provided independent living services to more than nearly 742,000 elderly adults.
“Older Americans bring a lifetime of skills and experience as parents, workers, and citizens that can be tapped to meet challenges in our communities,” said Dr. Erwin Tan, Director of Senior Corps at CNCS. “Given the many social needs facing our communities – and the growing interest in service by 55+ American citizens – this is a moment of unprecedented need and opportunity for our programs to take advantage of an extraordinary wave of human capital that has the potential to transform our nation.”
As part of the agency’s focus on driving greater innovation and impact, organizations receiving 2013 RSVP grants will report their progress using the performance measures CNCS adopted as a result of the bipartisan 2009 Serve America Act. CNCS has embraced competition and performance measurement for the RSVP as a way to achieve greater impact in communities and the nation and to encourage innovation through adoption of new ideas and services.
The next Senior Corps funding opportunity will open sometime mid-year. Americans who seek to volunteer with a Senior Corps program can search for local opportunities in their area at seniorcorps.gov.