MASON CITY – RSVP of North Central Iowa has been awarded a $77,700 expansion grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Starting in late fall, RSVP will expand the Reading Buddy, Reading Coach, and Pen Pal programs to communities in Franklin and Mitchell counties.
RSVP will leverage the experience and skills of approximately 75 new volunteers, age 55 and older, who will serve in elementary and middle schools helping students improve their reading and writing skills. “I am thrilled about this expansion,” said Molly Anderegg, RSVP Director. “RSVP volunteers have so much to give and keeping them involved is a win-win for the students, the schools, and the communities. We look forward to partnering with new schools and volunteers.”
Established in 1971, RSVP engages Americans age 55 and older in citizen service. While serving, Senior Corps RSVP volunteers also improve their own lives, staying active and healthy through service. A growing body of research points to mental and physical health benefits associated with volunteering, including lower mortality rates, increased strength and energy, decreased rates of depression, and fewer physical limitations. In the 2016-17 program year, 367 North Iowa RSVP volunteers served 7,150 hours in the current service area.
RSVP is sponsored locally by North Iowa Area Community College and partners with the State of Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. “I am excited to see service opportunities for seniors expanding in new parts of our state,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Volunteerism is such an integral part of what it means to be an Iowan. Service shouldn’t stop just because you reach a certain age. Everyone has time or talents to share.”
RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and older with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses to immunizing children, to enhancing the capacity of nonprofit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference.
RSVP of North Central Iowa currently serves the counties of Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Winnebago and Worth responding to priority community needs by providing meaningful, purposeful volunteer opportunities for people ages 55 and over. RSVP is sponsored by North Iowa Area Community College and is partly funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, State of Iowa, United Way of North Central Iowa and local county governments.