RSVP 10 Year Report and Push to Maintain Funding

Mayor Bianchi and Sheila Pia, Director of RSVP, announced the ten year Retired Senior Volunteer Program report.

In the past ten years, 818 RSVP volunteers have served over 408,183 hours.  The hours served by the volunteers have saved the community a total of $7,628,940.00.

In FY13 alone, 283 RSVP volunteers served 22,567 hours, saving the community $619,259.68.

Berkshire County RSVP volunteers serve at sixty-seven stations in the community.

Mayor Bianchi said, “After an RSVP board meeting last month, I learned the RSVP volunteers have worked more than 5,000 hours in 2014 alone.  When Sheila informed me of the hours worked during 2013, along with the cumulative figures over ten years, I was both shocked and impressed.”

RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 years and over. Volunteers in the program use their skills and talents acquired over the years, or develop new ones, while serving in a variety of volunteer activities within the community.

Established nationally in 1971, RSVP offers a diverse range of volunteer activities that serve communities to create measurable impact, benefit volunteers through the service experience, and create community capacity. RSVP volunteers serve with commitments ranging from a few hours to 40 hours per week.

RSVP of Berkshire County is sponsored in part by the City of Pittsfield and receives financial support from the federal government.  RSVP is an integral part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and includes a half million older adults in community service projects across the country.

Mayor Bianchi added, “I am proud to support such an outstanding organization. Beyond the dollar amount saved with the help of the program, RSVP is a valuable asset to our community.  The impact the volunteers have on people of all ages is priceless.”

Sheila Pia, along with the RSVP staff and board, presented an overview of the RSVP program to state and federal officials Friday, June 06, 2014. The RSVP program is funded in part by a federal grant and is currently under review for budget cuts.  Station representatives Todd Burdick from Hancock Shaker Village and Nancy Stoll of Berkshire United Way also attended Friday’s meeting. US Federal Delegation Representatives Dan Johnson of Congressman Neal’s office and Jeremiah Thompson of Senator Warren’s office attended the meeting, along with State Senator Downing and Representative Farley-Bouvier (State Representative Mark’s office sent Cappuccio, a legislative aid).

Sheila Pia, the RSVP staff and board members, as well as Mayor Bianchi, are confident that the program’s success over the past ten years will prove to be valuable state resource and the Berkshire County RSVP chapter will remain partially  funded by the government.