Requests increase as economy wavers. Needs exceed Retired Senior Volunteer levels. Many organizations, mostly nonprofits and public agencies, need retired senior volunteers. 700 to 1200 per state are asking for retired senior volunteers. There are 40,000 or more places that need retired senior volunteers to help meet society’s needs.
The federal agency that places each Retired Senior Volunteer is SeniorCorps. Retirees can apply through SeniorCorps’ local affiliate recruiters. Each retiree is interviewed and matched according to their skills, time availability and interests. Retired senior volunteers receive training for and are placed in a nonprofit. All programs cover volunteers with supplemental insurance when they are on the job. RSVP provides some reimbursement for Retired Senior Volunteers. Homebound Companions and Foster Grandparents offer a tax-free stipend to those who qualify.
Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) offers the widest range of opportunities. It serves many different target populations: needy, homeless, food, shelter, health, elderly, and children. It serves different types of nonprofits. They might be local public agencies, faith-based groups with a specific focus, nonprofits that are national affiliates or nonprofits that are locally based.
Homebound Companions, as its name implies, works with agencies that serve elderly or disabled clients who want to live independently. Retired Senior Volunteers are trained to help and are assigned to a client or clients. This program often forms a special bond between the client and the volunteer because the work is one-on-one.
Foster Grandparents, A Special Part of SeniorCorps
Foster Grandparents serve in daycares, schools and after-school programs. These programs need tutors, mentors and assistants. Retired Senior Volunteers are trained and sent to work at one of these institutions. Again, the program recruiters try to place volunteers where they will feel needed and respected.