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Free Transportation Available to Men and Women 55+ Who Are Willing to Volunteer Their Time Through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: July 16, 2007

CONTACT: Lisa Saunders

(845) 574-4244

 

 

Free Transportation Available to Men and Women 55+ Who Are Willing to Volunteer Their Time
Through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

 

 

Suffern, NY - The free van service offered by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), which is sponsored by SUNY Rockland Community College, makes it easier for seniors to donate their time to non-profit and government agencies.

 

RSVP was awarded an $84,000 grant from the United Way of Rockland County to provide transportation to volunteers unable to drive.

 

Gerri Zabusky, Director of RSVP, believes providing this free door-to-door transportation will attract even more volunteers like Mary Baier, a Piermont senior who is able to volunteer her time because of the service. Baier tutors first-graders in their reading at Summit Park Elementary School in New City and also volunteers at the Esplanade, an assisted living center in Chestnut Ridge, where she is a friendly visitor with two women, one-to-one. Baier said volunteering has changed her life. "It’s a way out of being preoccupied with myself and getting involved with other people. The kids give me hope and the adults give me courage."

 

Volunteer positions encompass a wide range of activities such as an advisory board member, a friendly companion, tutor, environmental educator, adult and child literacy volunteer, equine therapeutic assistant, clerical, foreign language interpreter, museum guide, fundraiser/media/publicity, childcare assistant, recreation group leader to teach bridge, chess, art or dance, Fall Prevention Educator, and Special Events Coordinators. Volunteer opportunities can be short-term or ongoing.

 

The United Way grant will be used to partially fund the two vans that currently transport 100 of the 700 RSVP volunteers who need transportation. The grant, $28,000 per year for three years, is an increase of $11,000 over the previous grant.

 

Although the word "retired" is in RSVP’s program name, seniors don’t need to be retired to volunteer because there are many opportunities to serve on weeknights and weekends. Zabusky says, "We are always interested in having more volunteers in order to best serve the more than 150 agencies that are currently on our roster. We are in constant need of men and women 55 and older who are interested in giving to their community." Although RSVP doesn’t pay volunteers, for those who provide their own transportation, there is mileage reimbursement.

 

Those interested in volunteering their time can meet with an RSVP volunteer coordinator to make the best match between the senior’s skills and interests and the needs of a local non-profit organization.

 

For more Information contact Gerri Zabusky, Director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), at 845-356-6818, gzabusky@sunyrockland.edu

 

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Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality education...at a price you can afford.

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